Three members of neo-Nazi group “The Base” were arrested Wednesday on murder conspiracy charges, bringing the total number of the group’s members arrested to six this week alone.
In total, the arrests of the six men — three from Georgia, two from Maryland, and one from Canada — mark a broad-based law enforcement response to a group that has largely operated anonymously as its membership has grown in recent months.
Luke Austin Lane, Jacob Kaderli, and Michael John Helterband were arrested on Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and participation in a criminal gang, the Georgia newspaper Rome News Tribune first reported Thursday night. It wasn’t clear Friday whether the men had legal representation.
According to an affidavit provided to TPM by the Floyd County Police Department, all three men were members of The Base.
The affidavit narrates how an FBI agent went undercover and participated in the vetting process for the group, gaining information on its membership and training regimen, which included “retreating under fire” drills and moving-and-shooting drills.
The Base is an “accelerationist” organization that seeks to prepare members for race war, and has seen its footprint grow in recent months as it tries to become an international neo-Nazi network.
The Georgia affidavit identifies a meeting in which the FBI agent participated “with Kaderli, Lane, and another member of The Base who crossed into the United States illegally.”
During that meeting, according to the affidavit, Kaderli and Lane allegedly “discussed The Base’s violent opposition to members of Antifa, their desire to fight, and ultimately a veiled plan to murder an unspecified vicim or victims.”
The affidavit contains internal conversations from The Base, including statements by an unnamed member who allegedly advocates killing anyone “engag[ed] in anti-fascist activity.”
In one exchange, Kaderli allegedly told Lane and the unnamed Base member that he was ready for “martyrdom,” so long as it wasn’t “for an Antifa fucking faggot.”
Helterbrand purportedly told the undercover agent that he was ready to start “whackin’ people,” before the group allegedly began to plan a series of murders.
The alleged plan would focus on killing a Georgia couple who were “high-ranking Antifa members.” The defendants are also accused of discussing a separate plan to kill another The Base member who was aware of the plan, but was “too stupid” to keep quiet about it, the affidavit states.
“Lane believed killing the couple would ultimately send the right message and show that the previous actions undertaken by antifascists like VICTIM 1 and VICTIM 2, such as doxing white supremacists, would not continue to go unpunished,” the affidavit reads.
Along with the undercover FBI agent, the group allegedly traveled to the would-be victims’ home in December to surveil the house and plan their attack.
That, the document says, would have involved using either a “lock pick gun” or a “sledgehammer to breach the door,” before Lane and Kaderli would enter the home and kill the victims “with revolvers,” as Helterbrand guarded outside with an AR-style rifle.
The men appeared intent on covering their tracks, according to the affidavit: Lane instructed the undercover FBI agent to rent a car from another state to use on the night of the planned murders, and further advised the conspirators to not use clothes that could be identified with The Base, such as skull masks.
Lane allegedly discussed renting a room at a cheap motel where staff wouldn’t ask too many questions of the men. They would use leather gloves, he allegedly suggested, and tuck in their shirtsleeves and pants, tape their gloves onto the sleeves and smear Vaseline on their eyebrows and lashes — all to avoid dead skin or hair falling onto the crime scene.
Lane allegedly said at one meeting that the group would tell the Antifa couple to “get the fuck on the ground, I’ll take a pistol out and pop ‘em.” Kaderli would then torch their house after “dumping gas all over the place.”
Helterbrand, when he was told the details of the plan, allegedly responded, “I figured this conversation was coming. I’m excited.”
Read the affidavit here: