DOJ Charges Provocateur Expelled from Militia for Promoting Terrorism


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Did the feds just arrest their own asset?

The Justice Department has criminally charged a man who was recently expelled from a militia for promoting terrorism within the group—the latest bizarre twist in a story that resembles the FBI-driven plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The suspect, Russell Richardson Vane IV, faces a count of attempted production of a biological agent or toxin.

The DOJ’s charge against Vane comes after he was expelled from the “Virginia Kekoas” militia in March for, among other things, offering bomb-making instructions, spreading government documents within group chats, and proposing that all the Virginia militias strike an alliance with Russia.

Instead of reporting Vane to law enforcement—which the militia feared was trying to entrap them—the Kekoas aired their suspicions about him to reporter Ford Fischer, who published a story seen online by hundreds of thousands. The DOJ’s charges, filed last week, reference Fischer’s reporting, confirming many of its details—including, perhaps most shockingly, that Vane spread government documents within militia chatrooms.

“In coordination with one government agency, the FBI ascertained that VANE had used his work computer to search for, access, and print physical copies of the exact documents [Vane spread in militia chats],” an FBI affidavit stated.

“VANE also used his work computer to search for, access, and print physical copies of other documents pertaining to explosive precursor compounds, including how to use them to manufacture explosive devices. Based on government records, these physical documents were accessed as early as February 12, 2024, and removed from a secure government facility,” the affidavit added.

“Based on statements made by the Kekoas members in the News2Share video, it appears that the documents were then transported by VANE in his personal vehicle to the location where he disseminated the documents to the militia on or about March 9, 2024.”

The FBI affidavit, which was written by a joint terrorism task force officer, also acknowledged that the Kekoas thought the government was using Vane to try to entrap the group.

“Kekoas members … believe that VANE might have been a federal law enforcement official attempting to ‘entrap’ members of the group,” the affidavit said.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Vane’s home last week, finding a gallon-size Ziplock bag containing castor beans, as well as a recipe for extracting ricin toxin from those beans.

The FBI affidavit doesn’t explain exactly how the government documents were transferred from a secure government facility to Vane.

Vane’s father, Russel Vane III, appears to be a long-time intelligence specialist who’s worked with agencies such as Homeland Security, the military and FEMA. Vane III has also written papers such as, Planning for terrorist-caused emergencies.

The Washington Post also confirmed that Vane IV has an intelligence background, reporting last week that he served as an intelligence specialist for eight years in the Marine Corps and left as a staff sergeant in 2017.

Vane IV remains in custody, and reportedly has a detention hearing today. Read Headline USA’s prior coverage for a more in-depth story on Vane and his activities within the militia movement.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at


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