White Supremacists: Phillipsburg Man, Four Others Indicted on Weapons and Drug Charges
In an indictment unsealed last week, a resident of Phillipsburg (Warren County) and four other members of the Aryan Strikeforce, a white supremacist group, were charged with allegedly conspiring to sell methamphetamine, firearms, and machinegun parts to fund the organization’s activities, including acquiring weapons. In its online mission statement, as quoted in the indictment, the Aryan Strikeforce describes itself as “a white nationalist organization” with its goal being “to protect the honor of our women, children, and the future of our race and nation,” using violence as a necessary tool. The defendants in the indictment are Joshua Michael Steever, age 37, of Phillipsburg; Jacob Mark Robards, age 40, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Henry Lambert Baird, age 40, of Allentown, Pennsylvania; Connor Drew Dykes, age 20, of Silver Spring, Maryland; and Justin Daniel Lough, age 26, of Waynesboro, Virginia. The defendants are charged with criminal violations including possession of firearms by convicted felons, transfer of unregistered machinegun parts, distribution of methamphetamine, and money laundering of drug proceeds, among other offenses.
Steever is believed to have been the target of a law enforcement raid at a residence in Phillipsburg on April 13 (see photo), according to news media reports. The indictment indicates that the group was infiltrated by federal law enforcement, detailing transactions in which the defendants made purchases from undercover officers who they believed were brokers for drugs and firearms.
Gloucester County: Police Detonate “Questionable Substance” in Mantua
Police in Mantua Township responded to a domestic violence call on April 27 and discovered a “substance of questionable nature,” which they detonated shortly after midnight the next morning. The controlled detonation caused “a loud concussive noise” that was heard in nearby towns. Police said they took one person into custody, who was turned over to the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office. The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office is leading the investigation.
Israeli Who Threatened JCCs Offered to Make Threats for Profit, According to Israeli Indictment
The dual US-Israeli citizen (see photo) who allegedly telephoned bomb threats to numerous Jewish community centers (JCCs)— including in New Jersey—was at least partly motivated by profit, according to an Israeli indictment on April 24. A statement from the Israeli Justice Ministry said the defendant—not named by Israeli prosecutors, but identified in the US indictment as Michael Kadar, age 18, of Ashkelon, Israel—used the “Dark Web” to market his intimidation and extortion services to clients who paid him in electronic currency, according to a price list he posted, with set fees for calls to police stations, schools, or airports. He had more than $200,000 in his Bitcoin account, which he allegedly earned by making threats on behalf of his clients.
According to the Israeli indictment, the defendant made more than 2,000 bomb threats and similar actions against Jewish institutions, airports, malls, and police stations in the United States and other countries. He also attempted to blackmail and threaten US officials, including a Delaware State Senator and a former Defense Department official. Israeli prosecutors said the defendant's objectives were “to cause substantial public panic; greatly increase the presence of emergency guards at the threatened sites; panicked evacuations of the sites; searches and sweeps of the sites; and grab media attention, which would maximize the overall harm of his actions.”