Items included tactical gear and surveillance equipment. The U.S. Justice Department released a list of items seized by the FBI during the arrest of Justen Watkins Oct. 29, 2020. Watkins was reportedly one of three armed men who attended the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bad Axe last year. Tactical gear, surveillance equipment, and various items adorned with Nazi symbolism were just some of the things seized by FBI agents during the execution of an arrest warrant for Justen Watkins at a farmhouse in Bad Axe Oct. 29. According to the forfeiture list released by the U.S. Justice Department Jan. 4, dozens of items were seized. The Michigan State Police and FBI executed an arrest warrant for Watkins in October at a Bad Axe farmhouse owned by Chesterfield optometrist Eric Webb. Webb did not live at the home, instead, he allowed his son, Tristan Webb, to live there. Tristan was reportedly friends with Watkins, who court documents allege is the self-professed leader of a white supremacy organization called The Base. “Founded in 2018, The Base is a White supremacy organization that openly advocates for violence and criminal acts against the U.S., and purports to be training for a race war to establish White ethnonationalist rule in areas of the U.S., including Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” a press release from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reads. “The group also traffics in Nazi ideology and extreme anti-Semitism, at one point requiring its members to read neo-Nazi books that urge the collapse of Western civilization. The Base leaders have used online chat rooms to encourage members to meet in-person and engage in military training to prepare for the insurgency against the U.S. government.” The arrest warrant for Watkins was conducted at the same time as that of Alfred Gorman in Taylor. Both men were charged by Nessel with gang membership, unlawful posting of a message, and using computers to commit a crime, each felony charges. The charges against Watkins and Gorman stem from a December 2019 incident in Dexter, when the two allegedly terrorized a home. “The suspects are linked to a December 2019 incident in Dexter, in which a family was terrorized at their home after the men allegedly used intimidation tactics on the premises and posted messages to other The Base members targeting the home,” the release reads. (…) The items seized by FBI agents included several everyday electronics such as computers, cell phones, portable storage drives, and an Xbox console. However, agents also seized handheld radios, a citizens band radio, along with various surveillance items such as a radio frequency detector, an infrared bullet camera and several surveillance cameras. According to the list, agents also seized a variety of “tactical gear” such as gas masks, helmets, vests, and camouflage items including a “Gilly Suit.” On the list released by the justice department, the only weapons listed were a machete, a “Sword with Nazi Symbol” and a modified knife. It is unclear if the list includes all of the items seized during the execution of the arrest. Watkins and Gorman are charged in Washtenaw County with gang membership, unlawful posting of a message, and using computers to commit a crime. Both men are out on bond, and recently had their cases postponed until Feb. 4 to allow time for Gorman’s attorney to review the “15,000 pages of discovery” information that the attorney general’s office has on the case.

via michiganthumb: DOJ releases list of items seized during Watkins arrest

siehe dazu auch: Case against alleged Base leader Watkins postponed. The probable cause conferences for Justen Watkins and co-defendant Alfred Gorman were postponed for six weeks at the request of their attorneys Dec. 17, and the state added to their bond conditions. Gorman, 35, of Taylor and Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe were arrested Oct. 29 at their places of residence by Michigan State Police and the FBI on multiple felony charges filed by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. The two are being charged by Attorney General Dana Nessel with gang membership, unlawful posting of a message, and using computers to commit a crime, each felony charges. During the court hearing in 14A-1 District Court in Washtenaw County, State Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani asked Judge Cedric Simpson for an additional condition be added to the bonds of Watkins and Gorman. According to Doddamani, Watkins has allegedly been reaching out to fellow members of The Base.