Prosecutors: Informant led FBI to Chesterfield bombing suspects
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A tip from an informant led FBI agents to uncover an alleged plot by a pair of Richmond-area men to blow up houses of worship and start a race war, according to testimony in federal court on Thursday.
The special agent from the FBI investigating the case told the court it was an informant who told investigators Robert Doyle and Ronald Chaney III wanted to purchase guns. Prosecutors say the men wanted to rob a Virginia jewelry distributor to raise money to fund a race war. They also say an undercover agent acting as a weapons dealer recorded Doyle describing plans to kill the dealer and dispose of his body.
Investigators say the men met, along with Charles Halderman, at Doyle's home in Chesterfield to come up with a plan for the robbery and to ultimately start a "race war."
Both men have ties to white supremacy groups, prosecutors argued, specifically citing Doyle's alleged ties to the Aryan Brotherhood.
The suspects requested to buy "an automatic weapon, explosives, and a pistol with a silencer," according to prosecutors. It was Chaney who showed up to buy the guns earlier this month, while electronic surveillance showed Doyle was nearby, prosecutors said. Both men were arrested.
A search of Doyle's car found 30 rounds of ammunition and his Chesterfield home contained three ballistic vests and several firearms, prosecutors said. Explosives, firearms and a vest were also found at the Henrico home where he lived with his parents, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said he has five prior felony convictions and has been on supervised probation since 2007.
While prosecutors say they met at Doyle's home in Chesterfield in September to plot shooting or bombing synagogues and black churches, and also to plan for what they called a "race war," defense attorneys said it isn't clear what exactly took place at the meeting.
The suspects waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday and the judge ordered both men remain in prison as the case continues.
Charges have also been filed against Chaney's father in connection with the case. Ronald Beasley Chaney and Terry Gunn Chaney were arrested after Henrico police conducted a search warrant at a home in the 300 block of E. Jerald St., near Highland Springs High School. Police say they found marijuana, firearms, ammunition and fireworks inside the house.
Halderman is due in court on Friday.
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