North Carolina Klan leader sent to jail

Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald/February 6, 2013

The man authorities say was the North Carolina chapter of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader will spend up to 15 years in jail following sentencing today.

United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced the news today, saying federal court Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., 50, of Benson, to 180 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release.

Barefoot was convicted by a federal jury on Sept. 25 of conspiracy to possess stolen firearms, possession of stolen firearms, solicitation to commit a crime of violence, receipt of explosives with intent to kill, illegal storage of explosive materials and distribution of explosive materials to an individual under 21.

According to evidence presented at trial, Barefoot was the leader of the North Carolina chapter of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In October 2001, three members of Barefoot's Klan group, including Barefoot's son Daniel, then 17, stole more than 30 firearms from an out-building at a residence in Benson.

"They brought the guns to Barefoot's residence, and Barefoot proceeded to dispose of them," a release from Walker said. "He and another member of his Klan group, Marvin Glen Gautier, gave approximately 10 of the guns to Michael Brewer, the leader of an affiliated Klan group in Lumberton. Brewer proceeded to sell the guns and share the proceeds with Barefoot."

Evidence at trial also revealed that Barefoot wanted to kill Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. Barefoot blamed Bizzell for the failure of a nightclub he operated, the Enchanted Barn. Barefoot also blamed Bizzell for the Klan group not being able to march in the September 2001 Mule Days parade in Benson.

Barefoot began building and experimenting with pipe bombs, and in the fall of 2001 he acquired a binary explosive which he hid in a freezer at his home.

"Sometime after that, Barefoot told Gautier he had a plan to float down the Neuse River on a boat, get out in Smithfield, plant a bomb at the sheriff's office and then get back on the boat," a release from Walker said. "Barefoot told Gautier he needed someone to drop him off upriver and then pick him up at a bridge down river. Gautier did not agree to participate, and there is no evidence the plot was ever attempted. However, this evidence, along with additional evidence of Barefoot's intent, formed the basis for Barefoot's conviction on the charge of solicitation to commit a crime of violence."

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Johnston and Sampson County Sheriffs' Offices. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Goulian prosecuted the case.

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