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White supremacist group members charged in intimidation case

White supremacist group members charged in intimidation case

DETROIT (AP) — Two members of a national white supremacist group were arrested Thursday for threats made to a Michigan family.

Justen Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe, and Alfred Gorman, 35, of Taylor, were charged with gang membership, unlawful posting of a message and using computers to commit a crime, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.

The charges followed an investigation by Michigan State Police and the FBI into a group called The Base and a December 2019 incident in which a family in Dexter saw men in dark clothing shining a light and taking photos on the front porch of their home. The photos were uploaded onto The Base’s social media platform channel along with a caption that alluded to a person involved with an antifa podcast, according to authorities.

Nessel’s office said the group was targeting that person, but that he had never lived at the home.

Antifa is an umbrella description for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist white supremacists at demonstrations and other events.

Watkins and Gorman were being held Thursday in the Washtenaw County Jail pending arraignment. Watkins has professed to be the appointed leader of The Base, which Nessel’s office said was founded in 2018.