Member of Michigan hate group ‘The Base’ accused of breaking and entering former prison heads to trial


TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI – One of three men charged with breaking and entering a former prison for allegedly discovering a new training ground for their hate group to train on is heading to a trial.

Tristan Webb, 19, has waived his preliminary examination, sending him to trial on various felony charges relating to his alleged actions in aiding the national white supremacist group “The Base,” Michigan Attorney General Dana said. Nessel, Wednesday September 1.

Webb, along with co-defendants and other base members Justen Watkins, 25, and Thomas Denton, 32, were each charged by Tuscola County District Court with one count of theft in a building, gang membership, conspiracy to commit the use of civil unrest and felony firearms, for allegedly breaking and entering a former Michigan Department of Corrections site to plan to future hate operations and stealing state-owned clothing, officials said.

The charges are the result of a joint investigation by Michigan State Police Caro Post and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Nessel said.

Members of Michigan hate group “The Base” face additional charges from Michigan AG Nessel

The Base, founded in 2018, is a white supremacist group that openly advocates for violence and criminal acts against the United States, and claims to train in a race war to establish a white ethno-nationalist regime in some. regions of the United States, including the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. , officials said.

The group also traffics in Nazi ideology and extreme anti-Semitism, at one point forcing its members to read neo-Nazi books that urge the collapse of Western civilization.

The AG’s office and the Tuscola County District Attorney’s Office allege that the three men entered two former Michigan Department of Corrections sites, the Camp Tuscola Annex and the Tuscola Residential Rehabilitation Program.

Both locations have been vacant in the town of Caro since October 3, 2020, with the properties now owned by the Michigan State Land Bank Authority.

Investigators found that the men took state-issued clothing from one of the locations as they allegedly assessed the sites as potential future training grounds for the “hate camps,” Nessel said.

Watkins and Denton were scheduled to undergo preliminary exams on September 1, but their hearing was adjourned to October 15.

Webb is currently free on bail with a GPS tether while Denton remains in jail on bail set at $ 250,000.

Watkins, the self-proclaimed leader of the base, is currently in Washtenaw County Jail awaiting trial on various charges arising from an incident in which he and fellow base member Alfred Gorman threatened a Dexter family .

The Washtenaw County charges stem from an incident in December 2019 where a Dexter family was “terrorized” by the two men who, dressed in black, turned on a light in their home, took photos of their property and posted their address online on The The Basic social media platform, according to the GA’s office.

The couple are believed to have falsely targeted the house believing it to be owned by podcaster Daniel Harper, as the photo posted to social media had the caption: “The base sends greetings to Daniel Harper from the Antifa podcast” I’m not talking about not German “.”

White supremacists target Dexter’s house by mistake

Although a person named Daniel Harper has previously lived at Dexter’s address, the podcaster has never lived in Dexter and is unrelated to the previous occupier, officials said.

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