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Bond Revoked for Charged Leader of White Supremacist Group The Base
May 06, 2021
LANSING - Bond has been revoked pending a bond hearing for the self-proclaimed leader of The Base - a national white supremacist group with violent inclinations - after the Court agreed with the Department's findings that the defendant was not adhering to bond conditions, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.
Justen Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe, is one of two men charged last year with the following:
- gang membership, a 20-year felony;
- unlawful posting of a message, a two-year felony and/or a $5,000 fine; and
- using computers to commit a crime, a four-year felony and/or $5,000 fine.
A fourth charge for Watkins was added in Huron County Feb. 4 for possession of analogue drugs, specifically steroids.
One of Watkins' bond conditions is that he not have contact with other members of The Base.
Despite this, the Department learned another member of the gang paid bond for Watkins in early February and the two allegedly committed a crime together the following week.
The Huron County Prosecutor's Office charged both men with breaking and entering related to that incident April 7.
The Department also learned Watkins has been residing with the co-defendant in that case.
Today, Watkins was ordered to turn himself in by Hon. Cedric Simpson of the 14A-3 District Court in Washtenaw County and a bond hearing was set for May 17 at 9 a.m.
At that time, the judge will consider witness testimony.
"Given the circumstances, the court's decision to revoke Mr. Watkins' bond was the correct course of action. We are pleased with the outcome," Nessel said.
Founded in 2018, The Base is a White supremacy organization that openly advocates for violence and criminal acts against the U.S., and purports to be training for a race war to establish White ethnonationalist rule in areas of the U.S., including Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The group also traffics in Nazi ideology and extreme anti-Semitism, at one point requiring its members to read neo-Nazi books that urge the collapse of Western civilization.
Watkins claims to be the leader of The Base, and reportedly ran a "hate camp" for members of the group, where he led tactical and firearms training for participants with the goal of being prepared for the violent overthrow of the government.
Watkins' co-defendant in this case, Alfred Gorman, is due for a probable cause conference on June 3 at 9 a.m.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.