K.C. Massey, a member of a militia that ‘patrols’ the Texas border, met with and posed for photos with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbot just four days before his arrest on illegal weapons charges. Massey, a convicted felon, was arrested by ATF officials on October 20th after he was found in possession of a loaded AK-47, six magazines, a loaded handgun and a box filled with ammonium nitrate, which is used in high-end explosives. Based on Massey’s criminal record, it is illegal for him to be in possession of any of these items.
Massey is part of a militia group called Camp Lonestar. The group is one of a number of ‘patriot’ organizations that patrol along the southern border of the United States, looking to detain immigrants crossing illegally. Actual Border Patrol agents have stated time and time again that militia groups like Camp Lonestar are not needed when it comes to identifying and detaining illegal crossings. In fact, they are more of a hindrance than a help. In late August, a Camp Lonestar member drew fire from a Border Patrol agent after being spotted holding a gun and pointing it at agents while they were pursuing a group of immigrants attempting to cross the border. He was uninjured.
It was later discovered that the man, John Foerster, is a convicted felon and should not have been in possession of a firearm under federal law. Massey, who was nearby, was also searched by Border Patrol and found to be in possession of two firearms. ATF agents decided to arrest Foerster and Massey in connection with the incident. That is when Massey was found to be in possession of explosive materials which could bring additional charges. Both men are currently looking at 10 years in prison. (Under Texas law, they are allowed to carry after five years. However, since they were located at the border and on federal land, they are subject to federal law.)
Abbott’s campaign has distanced themselves from Massey, who showed up at a restaurant on October 16th where Abbot was holding a meet and greet. Massey posed for photographs with Abbott and spoke to him briefly. Massey can be seen wearing an ‘Abbott for Governor’ sticker on his fatigues (yes, he was dressed up like a soldier) and claimed later on his Facebook page that he gave his number to Abbott so they can talk about the border problems at a later date. Per Abbott’s deputy communications director Amelia Chasse, Abbott took photos with everyone at the restaurant and had only a brief encounter with Massey.
At the same time, his campaign wouldn’t elaborate whether or not Abbott supports the group or other militia border groups. Instead, they just pointed out that Abbott supports the legal entities located at the border.
“Greg Abbott places his trust in the Department of Public Safety, border sheriffs, the National Guard and local law enforcement to do the job necessary to keep Texans safe.”
Also, per MySA.com, Abbott’s campaign did not respond to follow-up questions asking if Abbott is concerned that militia groups are recruiting convicted felons, or that these convicted felons are possessing firearms illegally. Wendy Davis, Abbott’s Democratic opponent, was quick to criticize Abbott for both appearing with a dangerous militia member and for not denouncing these radical groups.
“It’s hard to say what’s more disturbing: the fact that Greg Abbott met with a radical militia leader days before federal authorities found the same kind of explosives from the Oklahoma City bombing in his hotel room or the fact that Greg Abbott is refusing to denounce his dangerous fringe group. Mr. Abbott’s refusal to disclose what they discussed or condemn this group shows a frightening lack of judgment from someone who wants to be our governor.”
Apparently, Abbott is so concerned with offending the wingnut ammosexual base, he can’t even come out against unregulated milita groups that are recruiting criminals to roam around the countryside unchecked.