Wanted Border Vigilante Who Narrowly Escaped Capture Remains At Large

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

On the lam, a Texas border vigilante considered armed and dangerous by authorities showed up at his friend’s tattoo parlor last month and said he was hungry and needed a place to stay, according to court records, some of the details of which have not been previously reported.

The friend allegedly obliged, taking him to dinner at a local steakhouse and giving him money for cigarettes and a place to sleep at the friend’s home.

But authorities searching for the fugitive vigilante, Kevin Lyndel “KC” Massey, were hot on his trail.

On July 23, law enforcement spotted Massey at the friend’s house, an hour’s drive east of Dallas, allegedly coming in and out of the residence with a gun on his hip. By 8:30 p.m., when they directed everyone inside the house to come out, Massey was gone.

“I can tell you 100% he is not in the house,” Massey’s friend, James Russell “J.R.” Smith, told law enforcement after repeatedly being asked, a deputy marshal said in an affidavit included in a new criminal complaint against Smith. “I don’t know where he is.”

Massey had given the marshals the slip, but they would get another chance.

The next day, Smith’s wife called law enforcement and reported that Massey, again, was at the house. By the time they arrived, per the deputy marshal, Massey was gone again.

It’s not known whether Massey, who remains at large, has been seen since.

Active as a border vigilante back in 2014, Massey subsequently spent years in prison before beginning supervised release in June last year. Along the way, he gained the attention of fringe right-wing and “sovereign citizen” types who viewed the weapons charges that landed him in prison as illegitimate. Now, Massey has supporters and law enforcement alike worried about a potential violent confrontation.

After 10 months of supervised release, according to the court records, Massey had racked up two violations for failing a random urinalysis drug test and stopped reporting to his probation officer. A warrant for his arrest over the violations was issued in May.

Around the same time, according to the deputy marshal’s affidavit, Massey spelled out his seeming readiness for violence in Facebook posts.

“We proven folks are formulating to counter to let them feel the fear and pain of oppression,”one post allegedly from Massey read. “The tyrants will soon feel what we the people feel.”

“I am working with some real patriots,” another said. “Fuck the feds, and their probation. I am now a sought after man, who is going to stand up and NEVER allow them to kidnap me again.”

A Facebook post from June this year, posted to a page seemingly affiliated with Massey, contained an ominous warning:

The federal government has issued a warrant for the arrest of KC Massey. KC is done playing the game of unconstitutional courts that already cost him 3+ years in federal prison for not even violating the law as written. The judge said in his statement, that the conviction was based on court precedent not on the written letter of the law. The feds continued to subject KC to their tyranny after release from prison, while serving a double jeopardy sentence of 3 years probation. KC is NOT going to allow himself to be kidnapped again. Death before dishonor!

Massey’s participation in so-called border patrols five years ago led to his arrest. He was charged as a felon in possession of multiple firearms in 2014 after a run-in with a Border Patrol officer along the Rio Grande.

A man with Massey, John Frederick Foerster, allegedly pointed his gun at a Border Patrol agent, prompting the agent to fire at him, though no one was hit. After searching Massey’s vehicle and motel room, law enforcement seized multiple guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition from the vigilante.

Both Foerster and Massey were members of a militia group called “Rusty’s Rangers” (or “Rusty’s Regulators”) which patrolled the border in the Brownsville, Texas area.

Massey was released from prison last year. Part of Massey’s supervised release included an explicit ban on possessing any firearms. In addition to the gun spotted on Massey’s hip, the deputy marshal said that a bag allegedly belonging to Massey left at Smith’s home contained “an AK47-style pistol inside it.”

A vault inside a container on Smith’s property contained “what looked to be the butts of either firearms, or knives,” the deputy marshal said. The container also belonged to Massey, Massey’s son told authorities.

Smith told authorities he knew that another man they’d found in the area, Richard Christopher Lynn Snead, was Massey’s friend. Snead, Smith told authorities, “had come to the home to get some of Massey’s equipment for a construction project Massey and Snead had planned.”

Smith is now charged with conspiring to conceal a person from arrest. The U.S. Marshals did not respond to a request for comment on the attempted arrests of Massey. Smith’s attorney declined to comment.

See Massey’s “wanted” poster below, via The Dallas Morning News:

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. How has this man not been pardoned and made an acting cabinet secretary or CPB head or something?

  2. “Death before dishonor!”

    Too late. Wa-a-a-y too late.

  3. “White or Hispanic.”

  4. I say throw a dragnet around every damn Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant!

  5. Ah, the usual BS about how the US government is after the guy and treating him unjustly…no wonder Trump lights their fires, he says the exact same thing seemingly every day.

    The worrisome thing is that these people think they re above the law, and I really expect them to explode into violence when (please when!) Trump loses in 2020…it really may be ugly, just a few of them could wreak havoc across the nation, especially if they planned something online and coordinated. We’re lucky so far that they are just as incompetent as Trump.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

78 more replies


Avatar for austin_dave Avatar for srfromgr Avatar for mattinpa Avatar for fargo116 Avatar for teenlaqueefa Avatar for irasdad Avatar for arrendis Avatar for sparrowhawk Avatar for ralph_vonholst Avatar for lastroth Avatar for midnight_rambler Avatar for arc_of_the_universe Avatar for iamwil Avatar for tena Avatar for j.dave Avatar for mkposs Avatar for brian512 Avatar for aiddon Avatar for justruss Avatar for rascal_crone Avatar for mtw Avatar for jumboperch Avatar for poeducker Avatar for anothertpmreader

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: