Floyd County prosecutors revealed evidence Thursday that three jail inmates who are reported members of The Base — a white supremacist group with international ties — have been communicating with a “racially motivated violent extremist” out of Boston.
The extremist, who Assistant District Attorney Emily Johnson did not identify in court, had also been facilitating communication between the three codefendants.
The information about the intercepted jail communications — which included email and phone calls — came during a bond hearing for Jacob Kaderli.
Kaderli is one of three men accused of plotting to kill a Bartow County married couple who had taken part in antifascist protests, in order to send a message to their group’s enemies.
Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach recently denied a motion to reconsider bond for one of Kaderli’s codefendants, Luke Lane of Rome. The third defendant, Michael Helterbrand of Dalton, is also being held without bond.
During the hearing, Kaderli’s attorney John Lovell said his client ended his participation early on in the plot. He told the court Kaderli did not participate in the conspiracy after a ride to scout out the home of the proposed victims.
“What’s significant about that is by the time he discontinued his participation, police had not felt the need to arrest the three,” Lovell told the court.
Lovell, who appeared in the hearing via video, said Kaderli was 19 at the time and “when some of the machinations allegedly occurred he was still in high school.”
Prosecutors disagreed, stating that Kaderli was “very active in the plot up until the day he was arrested.”
Kaderli volunteered to enter the couple’s residence with a lock pick gun, Johnson said. It was Kaderli who said he was going to bring a revolver to leave no shell casings, it was Kaderli who planned to burn the house down after the murders and — she continued — it was Kaderli who chose the Bartow couple as victims of the plot in the first place.
“He never abandoned this plan. He fully participated,” Johnson said.
FBI and Floyd County Police Department investigators stated in an affidavit that the men were affiliated with the white supremacist anti-government group. The Base existed primarily online, according to court documents, although they met up for paramilitary training on an isolated property owned by Lane’s family off John Ingram Road in Silver Creek.
The FBI has stated the founder of the group, Rinaldo Nazarro, is an American who runs the group from his home in St. Petersburg, Russia. The New York Times has reported the FBI is reportedly investigating Nazarro and links to Russian intelligence.
These national and international links were one of the reasons Niedrach cited in originally denying bond to the three men.
Johnson read to the court a transcript of a phone call from Kaderli to the unnamed third party in Boston, saying that when he first gets out of jail on bond, “he would do some family stuff and might be radio silent for a while but then he would get back in touch.”
“He has not abandoned his affiliation,” Johnson said.
Niedrach said he would make a decision later concerning Kaderli’s new bond motion but warned prosecutors that the case would have to move quickly.
If a defendant is held without bond, prosecutors must indict that defendant within 90 days. However, the Georgia Supreme Court put a pause on tolling during the COVID-19 pandemic until it is deemed safe to have court again in the state. The current judicial emergency order is set to expire on July 12.
“Your office will have about 30 days to get an indictment or I have to give a bond,” Niedrach said. The judge also told prosecutors the case, once indicted, would be a priority to go to trial.