Judge revokes bond for self-proclaimed leader of Michigan white supremacist group

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

A 25-year-old Bad Axe man charged with gang membership for his self-proclaimed leadership role of white supremacist group the Base has had his bond revoked for violations of the bond conditions. 

Justen Watkins was released from jail pending trial on bond conditions that included a prohibition on contact with other members of the Base, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said in a statement. 

But a member of the gang paid Watkins bond in February and the two are accused of committing a crime the next week. They were charged with breaking and entering on April 7, Nessel's office said.

Watkins was living with the gang member, Nessel said. 

Washtenaw County District Court Judge Cedric Simpson ordered Watkins to turn himself in Thursday. His bond is scheduled to be reconsidered on May 17. 

“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 in a statement. 

Justen Watkins

Watkins and associate Alfred Gorman, 35, of Taylor, were arrested in October during a crackdown on extremism in Michigan. 

Federal authorities said Watkins ran a "hate camp" for members of the group to overthrow the government at a 3 1/2-acre farm in Bad Axe. FBI agents, prosecutors said, seized 15 guns during a raid at the camp and found extremist propaganda that included a manifesto calling for genocide and attacks on law enforcement. 

The Base, operating as a paramilitary organization, has proclaimed war against minority communities within the United States and abroad, the FBI has said.

Watkins and Gorman also are linked to a December incident in Dexter in which a local family was terrorized by the men, who tried to intimidate a husband and wife and shared their address with members of the Base, Nessel's office has said. 

The pair were charged with several felonies, including gang membership, using a computer to commit a crime and unlawful posting of a message. 

In February, a charge of possession of analog drugs, specifically steroids, was added to Watkins' charges. 

Staff Writer Robert Snell contributed.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com