Ku Klux Klan member sentenced to 15 years

Cleveland Post/February 13, 2013

Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., a Benson man who is a leader in the Ku Klux Klan, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for plotting to kill Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

On Feb. 6, U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle sentenced Barefoot to 15 years in prison. Boyle also ordered Barefoot to serve three years of probation after he completes his prison term.

On Sept. 25, 2012, Barefoot Jr. was convicted 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 the age of 21.

According to a statement released by the United States Attorney's Office, 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 years old, stole over 30 firearms from an out-building at a residence in Benson," the statement said. "They brought the guns to Barefoot's residence, and Barefoot proceeded to dispose of them. He and another member of his Klan group, Marvin Glen Gautier, gave approximately ten of the guns to Michael Brewer, the leader of an affiliated Klan group in Lumberton, North Carolina. Brewer proceeded to sell the guns and share the proceeds with Barefoot."

According to the statement, 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."

The case was investigated 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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