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Friday, 6 May 2011

White supremacist gun dealer gets 10 years (USA)

A Milford man accused of being a white supremacist was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for selling weapons to a government informant posing as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Alexander DeFelice admitted what he did was wrong during the sentencing.

"I'm not a rocket scientist. What I did was wrong and I'm just glad nobody got hurt," he told U.S. District Judge Janet Hall.

But his admission was not enough to save him from being sent to prison for a decade.

"Fortunately, in this case no one was injured, but the risk of injury was not insignificant," Hall said.

A jury convicted DeFelice in December of conspiracy and firearms charges, but acquitted two other men including the leader of the Connecticut-based Battalion 14 supremacist group. Two other defendants pleaded guilty in the plot.

During a nearly three-hour sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Kopel urged the judge to send the 34-year-old DeFelice to prison for 15 years contending that if DeFelice is not himself a white supremacist, he certainly shared their ideas, and was more than eager to supply them with weapons to be used against minorities.

"He was chomping at the bit to sell guns and to sell grenades to them," Kopel told the judge.

But DeFelice's lawyer, Michael Hillis, countered that his client was a dupe of an overeager federal informant who lured DeFelice into the crime.

According to the government's case, beginning in 2008 DeFelice began meeting with the informant, Joseph Anastasio, who claimed he was seeking to buy guns and grenades for the KKK.

DeFelice sold several rifles and a shotgun to Anastasio as well as three grenades he made.

In one recorded conversation between DeFelice and Anastasio, DeFelice talks about making a bomb look like a basketball to hurt blacks.

"You drive to the top of a hill in downtown New Haven, you light the fuse and roll it down the hill and when all the (blacks) go after the basketball ...," according to the recording.

But in court Thursday, DeFelice told the judge he is not a racist. "I am far from being a racist, I have more black friends than white friends," he said.