Order Members Flush With Cash After Robbery, Court Told
SEATTLE (AP) _ Bruce Carroll Pierce, one of 12 men who allegedly staged a $3.6 million armored-car robbery for The Order, had lots of money after the heist, according to testimony in the racketeering trial against the neo-Nazi group.
The testimony from dog trainer and breeder Jim Kerney of Columbia Falls, Mont., came Wednesday after a parade of police, FBI agents and others presented evidence linking Order members to the July 19, 1984, robbery of a Brink’s armored car near Ukiah, Calif.
Kerney, who specializes in Rottweilers and German shepherds, said he was contacted by a Roger Morton who said he was interested in buying a Rottweiler as a ″protection dog.″
Previous testimony has indicated that ″Morton,″ who rented two homes near Troy, Mont., was really Pierce.
Kerney said that after the sale was concluded for $2,000 plus handling and shipping costs, Pierce asked how Kerney’s fledgling business was going.
Kerney said he told Pierce it was hard going, and that Pierce then took $6,000 in $100 bills from his van and gave it to him. ″He said his religion didn’t allow him to charge interest,″ and that details of paying back the loan would be worked out later, Kerney said. That never happened, he said.
Also in the money after the robbery occurred, according to testimony, was defendant Jean Craig. She is not accused of participating in the holdup, but former Order members have testified she received some of the proceeds.
Myrna Nagel, co-owner of a Laramie, Wyo., trailer park where Ms. Craig lived, said Ms. Craig had complained of not being able to find work, and paid only $50 of her monthly $105 rent on July 9.
On July 24, she said, Ms. Craig showed up with the remainder of the July rent and paid $315 cash for the next three months, saying she had several job prospects. Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. District Court jury heard one of the Brink’s guards describe the robbery, the biggest monetary crime attributed to the 10 defendants and 13 other people named in the federal racketeering indictment against members of The Order.
The group also is accused of staging a string of other robberies, counterfeiting money, and two murders, including that of Denver radio personality Alan Berg.
Aaron Davis said he was riding in the front of the Brink’s truck with driver Paul Scott as they returned to San Francisco from a two-day run that had taken them north to the coastal city of Eureka.
Their truck was passed on a hill by a pickup truck carrying four to six men in the back, he said. ″I thought they were a bunch of kids. ... All of a sudden, one of the guys stands up with a white card that says, ’Get out or die.‴
The robbers fired guns at the windshield and yelled for the guards to get out of the truck, Davis said.
He said he got out, lay on the ground and yelled at a third courier in the back of the truck to cooperate.
Mendocino County sheriff’s officials told Wednesday how they recovered vehicles believed used in the robbery within about three miles of the crime scene, except for a white van that was recovered near Reno, Nev.
Earlier testimony from former Order members has indicated the robbers headed through Reno on their way back to their base in Boise, Idaho.