FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Two members of a notorious family that authorities say once tried to set up a whites-only nation in America were arrested this week in Arizona on federal firearms charges after a raid on a sprawling ranch netted dozens of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Kirby Kehoe and his 37-year-old son, Cheyne, had an initial court appearance Tuesday in Flagstaff. Cheyne Kehoe‘s attorney declined to discuss the case, while a lawyer for Kirby Kehoe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Authorities received a tip that Kirby Kehoe, 65, had weapons on his 40-acre property near Ash Fork, about 140 miles north of Phoenix, said Tom Mangan, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Agents who raided the property seized dozens of guns, including shotguns and semi-automatic rifles and pistols, according to the ATF. Kirby Kehoe was arrested on site, while federal authorities picked up Cheyne Kehoe in Prescott, where he had a scheduled court appearance in another case.
Kirby and Cheyne Kehoe both have previous felony convictions and are banned from possessing firearms. Each faces one charge stemming from the raid, but Mangan said the list could grow to include more weapons and narcotics charges.
The Kehoe family has been well-known to law enforcement since the 1990s when authorities say they provided weapons to various white supremacists who committed robberies across the Midwest. Authorities also said the family was involved in a plot to overthrow the federal government and establish the Aryan Peoples Republic in the Pacific Northwest.
Another son, Chevie Kehoe, is serving a life sentence in federal prison for his role in the 1996 killings of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife and their 8-year-old daughter as part of the plot.