An Apache Junction man who was a former member of a group with neo-Nazi ties is facing up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for bomb-related offenses.
Jeffrey Harbin, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to possession of unregistered destructive devices and the unlawful transportation of explosive material.
Harbin will be sentenced Dec. 13 before Judge Neil Wake. He was charged with the crimes in January when he was pulled over in Apache Junction and officers discovered one of the grenade-like devices in his truck. After a search warrant was executed in his home, authorities discovered about a dozen of the devices.
Authorities say Harbin created them using polyvinyl chloride in a container filled with gunpowder, ball bearings and an improvised fusing system, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Harbin, who was a member of the neo-Nazi-linked National Alliance and formerly in the National Socialist Movement, had planned to take the bombs to the Mexico border, according to court documents. Authorities say used ball bearings to make them more dangerous.
According to authorities, Harbin was recruited into the National Socialist Movement by J.T. Ready, a former Mesa City Council candidate who leads patrols throughout Pinal County and other parts of Arizona in an effort to apprehend illegal immigrants. Ready says he no longer is a member.
The investigation leading up to Harbin’s indictment was led by the FBI and members of the Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force.