Making Tennessee look like a redneck state again.
Misguided or guided youth get in the news and perpetuate racism in the south.
Posted: ("Oct 27, 2008 5:51 PM EST")
Updated: ("Oct 27, 2008 7:21 PM EST")
A Tennessee man and friend from Arkansas have been charged for violating federal firearms laws and making threats against a presidential candidate.
Daniel Cowart, 20 (Bells, TN), and Paul Schlesselman, 18 (West Helena, AR), were charged in a federal complaint Friday with illegal possession of a sawed off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee, and making threats against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
"The allegations set forth in this criminal complaint are serious and will be treated as such," said Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. "The public can rest assured that federal, state and local law enforcement are diligently working together to investigate and prosecute the alleged activity."
The complaint states that Cowart (pictured) and Schlesselman met via the Internet about one month ago through a mutual friend. Both claim to share strong beliefs in "White Power" and "Skinhead" philosophy.
The complaint goes on to say the two were in the process of carrying out their plan when Cowart allegedly traveled from Tennessee to Arkansas to pick up Schlesselman. The two allegedly planned to conduct a killing spree targeting a predominantly African-American school and eventually target Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
"It is critical that the alleged plot was interupted," said James Cavanaugh, Special Agent in Charge of ATF. "We give credit to the Deputies of Crockett and Haywood Counties. All forces of law enforcement have come together to stop this threat."
Cowart and Schlesselman were arrested on Oct. 22 in Crockett County. The two appeared in federal court today and are schedule to be back for a detention hearing in Memphis on October 30.