LEITH, N.D. (AP) — Two men have been taken into custody after carrying guns in the small southwestern North Dakota town that the men have said they want to turn into a White enclave.
Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay said residents of Leith should feel at ease, at least for now, because the two men were taken into custody Saturday afternoon.
The sheriff said Saturday he was assembling evidence for charges of terrorizing against Craig Cobb, 62, and Kynan Dutton, 29, the Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1ilvtG6 ).
The two men have said they moved to Leith to take over the town’s government. They had posted new signs with racial slurs and flew swastika flags on Cobb’s property in town on Friday, the Tribune reported.
Town residents said they called for help Saturday because Cobb and Dutton were confronting them with guns in a threatening and intimidating manner.
Leith City Councilman Lee Cook said he and another man had just arrived at Cook’s home when Cobb and Dutton came over with guns and stood at the edge of the property. Cook told the newspaper that Dutton had his finger on the rifle’s trigger, but he said the guns were not aimed directly at them.
Both Cook and the other man called 911.
In a text message to the Tribune before he was taken into custody, Cobb said: “Because of the many violences (sic) and harassments against we (sic) and the children, we have commenced armed patrols of Leith.”
The sheriff said he knew that sooner or later the situation in Leith would escalate and he’s relieved that no shots were fired.
For safety reasons, Cook said he moved his family out of Leith weeks ago. He said he was in town to install security cameras on his home.
Cook said he doesn’t think Leith is peaceful, even with the two men in jail.
Dutton was already on bond for a charge of disorderly conduct. He is accused of disrupting an Oct. 18 city meeting with profanity and racist comments.
Cobb has purchased 13 properties in Leith and has said he plans to take over the town government with others who share his views.
Cobb, a native of Missouri, fled prosecution in Canada and chased the promise of high-paying jobs in the booming western North Dakota oil fields. He said he was fired from a job because of a dispute with a co-worker and that he lost a job with a Fargo-based paving company after media coverage of his settlement plans.
Canadian authorities have not approached the U.S. to extradite Cobb. Cpl. Normandie Levas of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the White supremacist can’t be extradited because the charge against him in Canada doesn’t exist under U.S. law.
Cobb’s comments and writings indicate he believes in a superior white race, distrusts both Jews and Christians, and questions the intelligence of women. He declines to talk about his upbringing and gives no indication as to why he adopted his supremacist platform.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com