Purported White Supremacists Arrested
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Two members of a notorious family that authorities say once tried to set up a whites-only nation in America were arrested in Arizona on federal firearms charges after a raid on a sprawling ranch where dozens of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were seized.
Kirby Kehoe and his 37-year-old son, Cheyne, had an initial court appearance in Flagstaff. Cheyne Kehoe’s attorney declined to discuss the case, while a lawyer for Kirby Kehoe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Authorities received a tip that Kirby Kehoe had weapons on his 40-acre property near Ash Fork, about 140 miles north of Phoenix, said Tom Mangan, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Both men have previous felony convictions and are banned from possessing firearms.
The Kehoe family has been well-known to law enforcement since the 1990s when authorities say they provided weapons to various white supremacists who committed robberies across the Midwest. Authorities also said the family was involved in a plot to overthrow the federal government and establish the Aryan Peoples Republic in the Pacific Northwest.
Another son, Chevie Kehoe, is serving a life sentence in federal prison for his role in the 1996 killings of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife and their 8-year-old daughter as part of the plot.
Cheyne Kehoe was sentenced in 1998 to more than 24 years in prison for his role in a shootout with Ohio police during a traffic stop about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati. His sentence later was reduced to 11 years. No officers were injured in the gun battle, but a passer-by was wounded by a bullet fragment.
The family patriarch, Kirby Kehoe, was sentenced in 1999 to nearly four years in prison for racketeering and possession of illegal weapons in a case related to the plot aimed at overthrowing the government. The elder Kehoe, however, has maintained he was never involved in his sons’ efforts to establish a whites-only nation and that he isn’t a racist.