Man linked to supremacist group gets 56 months to 20 years
CARO, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man described as a leader of the white supremacist group The Base has been sentenced to 56 months to 20 years in prison, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday.
Washtenaw County Judge Patrick Conlin sentenced Justen Watkins on Monday after he pleaded guilty to one count of gang membership, Nessel said.
Watkins “used intimidation tactics at a family’s home and posted messages to other The Base members targeting the home,” Nessel’s office said in a news release.
Two other charges, using a computer to commit a crime and unlawfully posting a message online, were dismissed under a plea agreement.
The new sentence corrected an invalid prison term Conlin imposed in July. The original sentence of 56-72 months violated the law because maximum sentence ranges must be the same as the charge’s maximum penalty, Nessel spokeswoman Amber McCann said.
Watkins pleaded guilty in connection to a December 2019 incident in Dexter in which he and co-defendant Alfred Gorman allegedly used intimidation tactics at a family’s home and posted messages to other The Base members targeting the home.
Gorman pled guilty to gang membership in January and was sentenced to four years of probation and a one-year jail term that was suspended pending successful completion of probation.
In May, Watkins was sentenced to at least 32 months for conspiring to train for a civil disorder in Tuscola County Circuit Court, Nessel said.