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FBI: Group Planned Third Armored-Car Heist

January 29, 1985

BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ A white-supremacist group linked to armored-car robberies in Seattle and California planned a third holdup in Boise, an FBI agent testified at a bond hearing Monday.

FBI special agent Richard McDaniel also testified in U.S. District Court that white supremacists in the group known as The Order had vowed to kill the families of law enforcement officials who arrested any of its members.

McDaniel testified at the bond hearings of Suzanne Tornatzky and her husband, Eric.

Mrs. Tornatzky, who was ordered held without bond by U.S. Magistrate Mikel Williams, been charged with receiving $10,000 of the $3.6 million taken in a robbery in Ukiah, Calif., last July. She also is named in a counterfeiting complaint in Burns, Ore.

Williams set $15,000 bond for Tornatzky, who also is named in the Oregon counterfeiting complaint.

McDaniel testified Mrs. Tornatzky had supplied information to The Order for a planned Dec. 4 holdup of the Wells Fargo Armored Service in Boise.

A note was found on Whidbey Island, Wash., where neo-Nazi Robert Mathews died in a standoff with FBI agents in December, that listed the schedule Wells Fargo trucks use in servicing Boise banks, McDaniel said.

Mrs. Tornatzky’s mother and stepfather, Sharon and Richard Merki, have been charged with harboring Mathews, who was sought after a November shootout with FBI agents in Portland. Merki allegedly was involved in the July holdup in California, and other members of The Order have been charged in a Seattle robbery last year.

Gary Yarbrough, a member of The Order who is charged with possessing a cache of weapons that included the gun used to kill liberal Denver radio talk- show host Alan Berg, was arrested in the Portland shootout. He is jailed in Boise awaiting trial on federal assault and weapons charges.

The note found on Whidbey Island listed banks served by Wells Fargo and times trucks arrived at those particular institutions, McDaniel said. The paper had the notation ″hit″ listed by a bank, he said.

Wells Fargo officials said the schedule was accurate, he said.

McDaniel said evidence seized during a Jan. 18 raid of the Tornatzky home in Boise also showed Mrs. Tornatzky was conducting surveillance on federal agents and trying to photograph them. Seven firearms were found in the home, McDaniel said.

Agents also have seized declarations made by the white supremacists threatening the lives of families of FBI agents who arrest a member of The Order, also known as the White American Bastion. It is a splinter group of the Aryan Nations Church, headquartered at Hayden Lake, officials said.

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