This is the press release from the feds indicating Josh Steever, Jake Robards and now others are being held on racketeering charges.
HARRISBURG, PA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that five men were indicted on April 27, 2017, by a federal grand for illegal possession and transfer of machine gun parts and firearms, interstate travel in aid of racketeering activities, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conduct money laundering transactions. The indictment was partially unsealed on April 27, 2017.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the redacted indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to transport methamphetamine, firearms, and machine gun parts to generate money to fund the activities of the Aryan Strike Force, including the acquisition of firearms. As stated in the indictment, in its on-line mission statement, the Aryan Strike Force describes itself as a “white nationalist organization” with the “goal to protect the honour of our women, children, and the future of our race and nation” using violence as a necessary tool to achieve its goals to the. The individuals charged in the indictment include:
- Joshua Michael Steever, Phillipsburg, NJ, age 37;
- Jacob Mark Robards, Bethlehem, PA, age 40;
- Henry Lambert Baird, Allentown, PA, age 40;
- Connor Drew Dykes, Silver Spring, MD, age 20;
- Justin Daniel Lough, Waynesboro, VA, age 26.
The indictment charges criminal violations involving the transfer of firearms to a convicted felon, possession of firearms by convicted felons, transfer of unregistered machine gun parts, distribution of methamphetamine, money laundering of drug proceeds, and conspiracy and interstate travel to facilitate drug distribution and money laundering.
On April 27, 2017, defendants Steever, Robards, Lough, and Dykes appeared in Williamsport for arraignment on the indictment before Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson, and they entered not guilty pleas. Trial and jury selection have been scheduled for July 10, 2017 before U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann in Williamsport. Magistrate Judge Carlson ordered that Steever, Lough, and Robards be detained pending trial and released Dykes on the condition of home confinement with electronic monitoring. Baird’s arraignment and a detention hearing are scheduled for May 4, 2017, in Williamsport.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police, the Virginia State Police, Phillipsburg (New Jersey) Police Department, New York State Police, Waynesboro (Virginia) Police Department, and the Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department . Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes with firearms.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law included imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.