RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A third Virginia man charged with conspiring to shoot up or bomb synagogues and black churches was ordered held without bail Friday.
U.S. Magistrate Roderick Young in Richmond ruled that Charles D. Halderman Jr., 30, must remain in custody while a robbery conspiracy charge goes to a federal grand jury. Young had denied bond Thursday for two other alleged white supremacists charged with trying to illegally buy weapons and explosives.
Young said Halderman's unemployment and history of drug use made him a flight risk.
"But I'm more concerned about the safety of the community," he said, noting Halderman's association with the Aryan Brotherhood and 17 felony convictions.
Halderman, wearing leg shackles and a jail-issued jumpsuit, said nothing in court other than answering in the affirmative when Young asked if he waived his right to a probable cause hearing.
Unlike the other two defendants, Halderman had no relatives or supporters in the courtroom. His attorney, George Townsend IV, did not argue for his client's release on bail because no family member is available to supervise him.
The FBI says in court papers that Halderman is an associate of Robert C. Doyle, 34, and Ronald Beasley Chaney III, 33, who were arrested Sunday after authorities said they tried to buy an automatic weapon, a handgun with a silencer and explosives from three undercover agents posing as illegal firearms dealers. According to the FBI, an informant had tipped off authorities about the plot to attack houses of worship and agreed to record conversations with the men.
Part of the plan was to rob a local jeweler and use the money to buy land, stockpile weapons and train for "an impending race war," an FBI affidavit says. It says that in one recorded conversation, when asked who all was in on the robbery plan, Halderman said he was "firm."
FBI agent James R. Rudisill testified Thursday that Doyle spoke of a plan to shoot the jeweler in the face with a handgun equipped with a silencer.
The affidavit supporting the criminal charges against Doyle and Chaney says those two subscribe to "a white supremacy extremist version of the Asatru faith," a sect that emphasizes Norse gods and traditions. A separate affidavit in Halderman's case does not mention Asatru.