GREENVILLE – The investigation into recent church fires in Greenville led to unrelated charges of kidnapping, assault and conspiracy against four people associated with a white supremacy organization, authorities said Friday.
Greenville Police Chief William Anderson said a task force investigating the fires received a tip about a group identifying itself with the Aryan Brotherhood. He said the group’s members had been considered “persons of interest” in the Jan. 13 fires at Memorial Baptist Church and Unity Free Will Baptist.
“However, at this time, there does not appear to be link between this group and the church fires,” he said.
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The four were arrested Friday after raids by Greenville Police and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Department. Officers confiscated a variety of weapons and Nazi and white supremacy paraphernalia. The material, displayed at a news conference, included photos of Adolf Hitler, red flags with swastikas, leather jackets with Nazi patches and brown shirts. A derogatory word for black people was written on a stop sign.
Anderson said several members of the group conspired to kill a man associated with the organization.
Albert Jack Oneal, 16, of 506 Shellbrook Court was charged with kidnapping the man, shaving his head and kicking him in the head with steel-toed boots. Others were charged with kidnapping and assaulting another group member and breaking his jaw.
Oneal was charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping; two counts of assault, inflicting serious injury; and one count of felony conspiracy to commit murder.
Dustin Grey Fricke, 18; Tiffany Dawn Oneal Maxwell, 36; and Wallace Eugene Woodard III, 25, all of 506 Shellbrook Court were charged with first-degree kidnapping, assault, and felony conspiracy to commit murder. Woodard also was charged with communicating threats against a man by telling him, “If you call the cops, I will put a bullet between your eyes.” All four were being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Anderson said activities of white supremacy groups had rarely come to the attention of law enforcement agencies in Pitt County. “This isolated group is small and seems to be unorganized,” he said.
However, Anderson said the group was very disturbing. He said an investigation continues and more charges unrelated to the church fires are expected.
Anderson said the group was not responsible for airing a video of the church fires on the Internet this week. He said investigators had identified the person responsible for the video and said “he’s not a person of interest.”