White-supremacist couple pleads guilty in federal court
Two reputed members of the Aryan Nations, a white-supremacist group based in Idaho, pleaded guilty to charges of counterfeiting in federal court here this week. Edward Wade Hawley and his wife, Olive, both of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, are members of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, which espouses an anti-Jewish, antiblack, and antiethnic philosophy, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Aryan Nations, headquartered seven miles outside Coeur d'Alene in a well-guarded compound, is the political arm of the church. The group has close ties to The Order, considered by experts the most violent neo-Nazi group in the United States. Many of its members are serving prison terms.
The Hawleys were charged with three counts of conspiracy and with the manufacture and possession of counterfeit bills. In a plea bargain, Mr. Hawley pleaded guilty to possession and attempting to pass counterfeit money and his wife pleaded guilty to ``conspiracy to manufacture'' the money. Hawley and two other men face separate charges in connection with three bombs that were set off in Coeur d'Alene on Sept. 29, 1986.
The Hawley trial was moved to Tucson after federal Judge Justin Quackenbush ruled that the defendants could not get a fair trial in the Eastern District of Washington State, where cases related to Aryan Nations activities have received so much coverage that a survey conducted for defense lawyers found that 81 percent of the public believed the accused to be guilty or probably guilty. Judge Quackenbush presided over the Tucson trial. Sentencing is set for March 19. Mr. Hawley faces up to 30 years in prison and a $500 fine; Mrs. Hawley faces up to five years and a $250 fine.
FBI officials said the Hawleys and three coconspirators counterfeited $20 bills to finance a spinoff group modeled on The Order. According to the FBI, the group's elaborate scheme of counterfeiting, bombing, and armed robberies, aimed at the eventual overthrow of the federal government, was based on a novel called ``The Turner Diaries.'' The novel is by Dr. William Pierce, head of an East Coast group called the National Alliance. The novel's main character, a Colonel Turner, joins The Order in the 1990s and engages in a pattern of racketeering and bombing activity that could have served as a model for what occurred last fall in Coeur d'Alene. ``The group pursued fantasies that they turned into real-world violence, '' said assistant US attorney Earl A. Hicks, prosecutor in the trial.
A third defendant, David Ross Dorr, was excused from the current trial for medical reasons. Mr. Dorr, considered to have been the leader of the group, is chief of security for the Aryan Nations, according to an FBI agent. Dorr, he said, purchased counterfeiting materials and planned the bombings that Edward Hawley and Robert Elliott Pires, now a government witness, committed.
The group's plans began to unravel last Sept. 7 when the Hawleys, accompanied by their two young children, tried to purchase soda and candy at the Kootenai County Fair in Spokane, Wash., with a counterfeit $20 bill, US attorney Hicks said.
An alert high school student, working at the concession stand, refused to accept the bill and reported the attempted counterfeit passing. She had been warned previously to watch for $20 bills with certain serial and plate numbers.
As officials approached Hawley, he slipped a blue plastic diaper bag to his wife, who then disappeared into the crowd. Hawley was arrested on the spot. Mrs. Hawley was later apprehended and released. After obtaining a search warrant, US Secret Service agents found 59 more counterfeit bills in the bag.
Then, according to the FBI, Olive Hawley, Dorr, his wife Deborah, and Mr. Pires discussed killing Edward Hawley to prevent him from revealing their plans. Instead, they accelerated their planned bombings and robberies. Three of the four bombs that Pires and Hawley allegedly planted at locations in Coeur d'Alene exploded Sept. 29, but the robberies never took place. On Oct. 1, Pires contacted the FBI, and shortly afterwards the Hawleys and Dorr were arrested. Mrs. Dorr has not been charged.
In the trial, court-appointed defense lawyers argued that neither of the Hawleys was involved in the actual counterfeiting and conspiracy. Earler, Hawley's lawyer said he possessedthe counterfeit bills because he had recently sold a weapon to Pires, who had paid him $1,200 in counterfeit money.