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Statesboro FBI to be honored for Claxton man’s arrest

Sentencing prompted a KKK group to disband

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Posted: August 28, 2014 4:08 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2014 4:02 p.m.
Statesboro FBI to be honored for Claxton man’s arrest


The FBI's Statesboro office will be among several law enforcement agencies honored for battling terrorism and protecting civil rights during the Fifth Annual SHIELD Awards, hosted by the Anti-Defamation League.

The Anti-Defamation League "will honor law enforcement heroes for major successes in the fight against terrorism and for protecting civil rights" during the event, according to a statement released by Elise Jarvis, the league's Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach and Communal Security.

The awards ceremony will take place in Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The Statesboro FBI office, along with the Richmond, Virginia, FBI office and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia, will be honored for their investigation and prosecution of a man who told an undercover FBI agent he planned to bomb a Claxton church due to its support of the Latino community.

Michael Lee Fullmore, 30, of Claxton, was sentenced to imprisonment for four years and four months in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia after pleading guilty to two counts of providing a firearm to a convicted felon on Dec. 19.

Fullmore said he planned acts of violence against St. Christopher Catholic Church in Claxton because of its connection to the Hispanic community and that he hoped to use money from illegal gun sales to fund a "subgroup" of the KKK that would target minorities, according to U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy.

Fullmore was a member of the Georgia Knight Riders, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Jarvis said.

According to evidence presented at the guilty-plea hearing, "Fullmore ... came to the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he began to take steps to establish a more violent and radical subgroup of the Ku Klux Klan, which he intended would commit violent crimes against minorities," Heaphy said.

On numerous occasions, Fullmore sold firearms, including an AR-15 assault rifle and an AK-47 assault rifle with an obliterated serial number, to a convicted felon in Georgia and Virginia who was working with the FBI as a confidential informant, he said.

The division of the KKK disbanded after Fullmore's arrest. The Herald became aware of the group's disbanding when an email from the group was sent to a reporter in January. In the email, the group also denied support for Fullmore's actions.

A person identified as "Imperial Kaltrop" posted the following comment on an article about Fullmore's arrest that appeared on statesboroherald.com: "The demise of an entire Klan organization has just taken place because of the illegal actions of a single alleged member who through his actions did more damage to Traditional Ku Klux Klan organizations in America than could be accomplished by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center), or the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) combined.

"However it should be known that these types of illegal actions are unacceptable and not in line with the true values of Traditional Klan Organizations in America," the comment continued. "This individual has allowed the root of hate and bitterness to sprout in his heart thus putting aside both his Christian values and his Sacred Oath as a Klansman to pursue a path of loss and destruction.

"The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as well as other Traditional Klan organizations will always be resolute to our values of being a law abiding, non-violent, Christian organization without exception," the statement read.

Numerous other law enforcement agencies across the nation will be honored during the Anti-Defamation League's SHIELD awards.

The award's name reflects law enforcement's role as protectors and is also an acronym for the core values of the profession: service, honor, integrity, excellence, leadership and dedication, Jarvis said.

"The SHIELD awards give us an opportunity to publicly recognize and express our appreciation to law enforcement for protecting our nation and its values," she said. "They are a way for us to honor the individuals who guard our lives and freedoms."

Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

 

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