A federal judge on Tuesday continued until June the trial for three southwest Kansas men accused of a terrorism plot targeting Somali immigrants in Garden City.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren rescheduled the trial from April 25 to June 13. Two of the three men had asked for the delay, saying additional time was necessary because the discovery process was ongoing and “possible new charges may require more experts or additional analysis.”
Curtis Wayne Allen filed the motion last week in federal court in Wichita, with co-defendant Gavin Wayne Wright and the government joining the request.
The third defendant, Patrick Eugene Stein, opposed the motion and asked that his case be severed from the others. In a notice filed Tuesday, Stein argued that the evidence to be presented against the defendants included “months of consensual recordings and discussions that occurred using a smartphone app called Zello, which makes a smartphone operate like a walkie-talkie.”
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“It appears Plaintiff recorded dozens, if not hundreds, of these conversations using a Confidential Human Source, who participated on the calls,” Stein argued. He said the FBI’s procedure for disclosing those calls was so time-consuming that “there is no end in sight” for when it would be complete.
The men were charged in October with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction in what authorities said was a plot to bomb a Garden City apartment complex and mosque where Somalis live and worship.
The domestic terrorism charges stemmed from an eight-month undercover investigation by the FBI. Authorities said the men were members of a small, isolated militia group that called itself the Crusaders.
According to the criminal complaint, the three men stockpiled weapons, ammunition and components to make explosives, conducted surveillance to identify possible targets and talked of distributing a manifesto to coincide with the planned attack — a “bloodbath,” they allegedly said, which was intended to “wake people up.”
Wright, Allen and Stein have pleaded not guilty and remain in federal custody.