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FBI arrests another border watch group member


FBI arrests another border watch group member

Associated Press
Sept. 23, 2004 08:10 AM

TUCSON - Another member of a border watch group in southern Arizona has been arrested by the FBI on weapons charges.

Authorities said Ranch Rescue founder Jack Foote, 47, was taken into custody Monday in Sierra Vista on a charge of illegal possession of a weapon stemming from a 1996 misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence in Mineral County, Mont.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Department had investigated the weapons-possession allegation earlier this year and forwarded its investigative report in March to the county Attorney's Office, where it remains under review.

Susan Herskovits, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Phoenix bureau, said Foote was arrested on a federal warrant with the assistance of the Sierra Vista Police Department.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Tucson has ordered that Arizona Guard leader Casey James Nethercott, 37, remain in federal custody to ensure the safety of the community.

Nethercott's Arizona Guard was originally part of Foote's Ranch Rescue, a group that works to protect private property along the southern U.S. border.

Ranch Rescue and several other unauthorized groups have been patrolling along the border looking for illegal immigrants, raising concerns among migrants rights groups about potential abuses.

Magistrate Jaqueline Marshall rejected arguments Wednesday from Nethercott's attorney that federal agents instigated an Aug. 31 confrontation at Nethercott's ranch near Douglas that led to his Sept. 15 arrest.

An FBI agent said he watched on a remote Border Patrol camera as Nethercott handled and fired a weapon at the Ranch Rescue-Arizona Guard headquarters on his ranch just hours before his arrest in Douglas.

The FBI said Kalen Riddle, who was with Nethercott at the time of the arrest, was shot twice after he moved his hands toward his waist as agents approached.

Riddle, 22, remains in critical condition at University Medical Center here.

A Sept. 16 search of Nethercott's ranch yielded 15 .308-caliber assault rifles, several handguns, several thousand rounds of ammunition, smoke grenades, flares, and M-80-type explosives similar to large, powerful firecrackers, according to the FBI.

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