Ex-Klansman Pleads Guilty in Bomb Building

Associated Press in NY Times/August 4, 2005

Chattanooga, Tenn. -- A former Ku Klux Klansman charged with building pipe bombs to use against Mexicans and Haitians changed his plea to guilty Thursday.

Daniel Schertz, 27, built five pipe bombs and sold them to an undercover federal agent and a confidential informant for $750 in April, authorities said.

The bombs were to be ''detonated on a bus carrying Mexican workers to work in Florida'' according to a plea agreement filed Thursday. Schertz also was accused of building and transferring two pipe bombs to the informant in March to harm Haitians in Florida.

Schertz said Thursday that he was guilty of all six charges, including teaching and demonstrating how to make a weapon of mass destruction and interstate transport of explosive material with intent to kill or injure.

Interstate transport of explosives carries a minimum sentence of 10 years, while the other charges combined carry a maximum sentence of 60 years, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Brooks said.

Schertz's attorney, Mike Caputo, said the plea agreement allowed him to ''avoid a harsher sentence.''

Schertz's former Klan leader, White Knights Imperial Wizard Billy Jeffery, has said Schertz was ''banished'' from the Klan in mid-May for unrelated disobedience.

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