A Claxton man authorities said is a Ku Klux Klan member was recently sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of providing a firearm to a convicted felon.
United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said Michael Lee Fullmore, 30, of Claxton, was sentenced to imprisonment for four years, 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 also planned acts of violence against a Claxton Catholic church because of its connection to the Hispanic community and hoped to use money from illegal gun sales to fund a "subgroup" of the KKK that would target minorities, Heaphy said.
According to evidence presented at the guilty-plea hearing "Fullmore, a member of the Georgia Knight Riders of the Ku Klux Klan, 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.
According to evidence and testimony, Fullmore "believed that this organization could be supported by selling firearms to convicted felons and militia groups."
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, Heaphy said.
"On one occasion, Fullmore also sold marijuana and firearms to an undercover law enforcement officer," the prosecutor said.
FBI agents arrested Fullmore in June after he told the confidential informant "he wanted to fire-bomb a Catholic church in the Claxton, Ga. area based upon its ties to the Hispanic community," Heaphy said.
"Those of us who work in law enforcement will do all we can to keep firearms away from prohibited persons," he said. "Mr. Fullmore ignored that important restriction and has now been held accountable. The fact that his fraudulent gun sales were motivated by a desire to finance hate crimes makes his conduct more despicable."
The investigation of this case was conducted by the FBI's Atlanta and Richmond Divisions and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Lee, of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Abingdon, Va., prosecuted the case.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.