I recently interviewed an associate of neo-Nazi J.T. Ready's, someone privy to details about Ready's group U.S. Border Guard, who claimed Ready was using donations to his outfit to pay his rent and buy personal items.
This source, who asked not to be identified, told me that Ready had received substantial contributions, in the area of a few thousand dollars, from people backing his "illegal alien" patrols in the Arizona desert.
The source also said that Ready had removed several hundred dollars from a bank account for U.S. Border Guard to pay his rent, promising to pay it back. The source said Ready was currently unemployed, and no longer worked for an AutoZone in Mesa.
Ready has been raising money through PayPal for the group, and he's registered "U.S. Border Guard" as a trade name with the Arizona Secretary of State.
I contacted Ready about my source's allegation. He denied that he had ever used any U.S. Border Guard money for his personal expenses or for his rent.
"That's pretty cheesy," Ready told me after a pause. "The source is obviously not credible if they're saying that, number one. Number two, it sounds like a disgruntled person more or less."
Ready did confirm that he no longer works for AutoZone, but he would not say whether or not he is currently unemployed. He refused to say how much he had raised for his group, or how the money is used.
I asked him how he could afford to spend so much time in the desert, as he's been doing patrols at least since June. So far, his operation has turned over a number of live migrants to U.S. Border Patrol, discovered a dead body (or two, as you'll see below), and come across a cache of drugs, which Ready's indicated was also turned over to Border Patrol.
"Well, with my money," he answered. "Put it this way, I'm out of pocket far more than anything I get in. But that still is nobody's business."
Ready later sent me a photo of hundred dollar bills lying next to some weapons with the note, "Don't be a playa hata!"
When I suggested he needed to save some for beer money, he sent me another pic, via text mail, of beer and cash surrounding an issue of New Times with Governor Jan Brewer's face on it.
"Beer fund," the message read.
Can't fault the man for lacking a sense of humor.
More than one source has suggested that Ready did not leave the National Socialist Movement of his own accord, as he's claimed recently, but was kicked out instead.
So I contacted NSM "Commander" Jeff Schoep about this. Schoep said Ready was not kicked out of the NSM. He confirmed that he'd left on his own.
"I have nothing bad to say about the guy," Schoep told me.
In case you're under the impression Ready's turned in his swastika for a peace pipe, Ready told me that he'll be speaking at an upcoming NSM rally in Tennessee.
In other Nazi-related news, National Socialist Harry Hughes has apparently come across another dead body in the desert, photos of which he promptly posted to his blog "Just Another Day..." Hughes reports that he discovered the corpse Wednesday, August 11.
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"It appeared to be a Hispanic female and had been there long enough to make a stain on the soil," he writes of the gruesome find. "She was really ripe too. The area was littered with water bottles, clothing and backpacks. It appears that she had a few traveling companions and they left her for the vultures to pick clean."
Says Hughes pithily, "I'm glad I skipped breakfast."
Hughes states that he notified the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, and there is a photo of what seems to be a sheriff's deputy near the body. PCSO has not yet responded to my request for confirmation of Hughes' tale.