RICHMOND, Va. – A federal grand jury has indicted three Virginia men accused of plotting to shoot up or bomb synagogues and black churches.
The Richmond-area men were originally charged last month. A federal magistrate found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury, which returned a three-count indictment Tuesday.
Court records show that Robert C. Doyle, 34; Ronald Beasley Chaney II, 33; and Charles D. Halderman Jr., 30, are charged with a robbery conspiracy. The government claims the men conspired to rob an unnamed silver and coin dealer and use the money to stockpile weapons, buy land and train for a race war.
Doyle and Chaney also are charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of unregistered guns. They previously had faced only gun possession and robbery conspiracy charges.
The men -- all of whom have extensive criminal backgrounds, according to the FBI and court records-- are being held in jail without bond.
According to an FBI agent's affidavit filed when the men were first charged, Doyle and Chaney subscribe to "a white supremacy extremist version of the Asatru faith," a sect that emphasizes Norse gods and traditions. The affidavit does not link Halderman to Asatru, but U.S. Magistrate Roderick Young mentioned that defendant's ties to a white supremacist group in a hearing last month.
Agent James R. Rudisill's affidavit says Doyle and Chaney tried to buy an automatic weapon, explosives and a pistol with a silencer from three undercover agents posing as gun dealers. The FBI set up the sting after an informant told them about the defendants' plans. The informant agreed to secretly record conversations with the men, Rudisill testified last month.
Rudisill said an undercover agent also posed as the silver and coin dealer. He testified that Doyle said in recorded conversations that the plan was to use a handgun with a silencer to shoot the dealer in the face, and he talked about how he would dispose of the body.