A federal jury on Wednesday acquitted two men and convicted a third in what prosecutors said was a conspiracy by white supremacists to sell grenades and guns to a purported national supremacist group member, who was really a government informant.
The jury at the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport found Kenneth Zrallack, 29, of Ansonia and David Sutton, 46, of Milford not guilty of conspiracy charges. Alexander DeFelice, 33, of Milford, was convicted of several conspiracy and weapons charges.
Federal prosecutors said Zrallack is the leader of the Connecticut-based Battalion 14 white supremacist group, formerly known as the Connecticut White Wolves. Officials said DeFelice is a Battalion 14 member who knows how to make explosives, while Sutton, who is black, has known DeFelice for years but isn’t a white supremacist…
The informant, convicted felon Joseph Anastasio, wore hidden recording equipment that captured hours of what prosecutors said were incriminating conversations on video and audio. Many of the recordings were shown to the jury.
Anastasio portrayed himself as a member of a national supremacist group, the Imperial Klans of America. He testified that he bought three grenades and some guns from the defendants and gave the weapons to federal agents.
Anastasio also testified that he was not a white supremacist and was “sick” and “upset” when he joined Zrallack and others as they waved Nazi flags near an outdoor Jewish menorah lighting ceremony in Fairfield last year…
An expert on white supremacist groups, Robert Nill, told prosecutors that the Connecticut White Wolves claim to have been founded on April 20, Adolf Hitler’s birthday, in 2002, and Zrallack formed the successor Battalion 14 in 2009. Court documents also say defendants in the case talked about their desires to kill President Barack Obama and leave an explosive-filled basketball at a New Haven playground so blacks would be killed.
If you haven’t lived and worked in Connecticut you probably aren’t aware of the pride felt in being the “Arsenal of America”. Every major city has some factory or other that got its start manufacturing weapons or ammo.
Add to that the lasting history of rightwing nutballs like the John Birch Society and DePugh’s Minutemen in southern New England and their antecedents like Father Coughlin’s National Union for Social Justice.
Tie together the ideology + job skills and you’re ready to arm our garden-variety fascists.