All charges dropped against 2 members of white supremacy group
Kissimmee, Fla. • Central Florida's largest domestic terrorism case ever continued to fall apart Monday in the Osceola County courthouse.
All charges were dropped Monday against two of the last three members of the American Front accused last year of training for a race war.
No explanation was given.
Only Marcus Faella, the accused head of the white supremacy group, still faces trial in May. If convicted of running a racist criminal gang, he faces the possibility of serving life in prison.
His wife, Patricia Faella, and Dylan Rettenmaier had been scheduled to stand trial Monday on lesser charges.
When the arrests began last spring by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, most of the 14 defendants in the case were held for weeks on unusually high bails of $500,000.
Orange-Osceola State Jeff Ashton's office was not immediately available to comment on the future of the case.
It has been nearly a year since the arrests of 14 members of the neo-Nazi white supremacy group drew international attention to Osceola County.
There has been little insight into the case since the arrests of members began in May 2012.
Patricia Faella, 37, and Rettenmaier, 26, had been charged with participating in paramilitary training and conspiring to shoot into a building. They now join eight other members who faced similar offenses only to have the charges dropped.
The convictions so far are: Christopher Brooks, 28, sentenced to three years in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; Luke Leger, 32, and Kent McLellan, 22,both sentenced to four years of probation for pleading no contest to participating in paramilitary training.
All had been accused of training with AK-47s and other weapons to kill Jews, immigrants and minorities during a two-year undercover investigation of paramilitary activities in Holopaw, a remote area in eastern Osceola County.
Much of the information came from a Joint Terrorism Task Force informant paid $40,000 to infiltrate the group and report on other racist groups in Central Florida, according to court records.
Shortly after the arrests began, death threats against former Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar, Circuit Judge Walter Komanski, task force Agent Kelly Boaz and their families were posted on several websites.
The training compound was owned by the Faellas.
Marcus Faella, 40, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted at trial in May of running a racist criminal gang, according to court records and interviews.
In a similar case in 2007, the Orange County Sheriff's Office intelligence unit duped a leader of the Aryan Nations hate group into allowing undercover deputies to form a motorcycle club known as the 1st SS Kavallerie Brigade Motorcycle Division.
Agents rented a house in St. Cloud, Fla., which was wired with a hidden surveillance system that recorded and filmed conversations by bikers planning a series of crimes, according to court records.