PHOENIX — Two members of a family who authorities say once tried to set up
a whites-only nation in America pleaded guilty Friday to a federal firearm
charge arising out of an October raid at the family patriarch’s northern Arizona
Kirby Keith Kehoe and his adult son, Cheyne Christopher Kehoe, admitted that
they possessed guns that were seized during the Oct. 14 raid at the elder
Kehoe’s 40-acre property near Ash Fork, about 140 miles north of Phoenix. Both
men have previous felony convictions and are banned from possessing firearms.
Authorities said they found more than a dozen guns, 15,000 rounds of ammunition
and three ballistic vests in Kirby Kehoe’s possession and three guns and one
ballistic vest in his son’s possession.
Kirby and Cheyne Kehoe each pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of
firearms. They face up to 10 years in prison. Their sentencing is set for May
The Kehoe family has been well-known to law enforcement since the 1990s when
authorities said they provided weapons to various white supremacists who
committed robberies across the Midwest. Authorities also said the family was
involved in a plot to overthrow the federal government and establish the Aryan
Peoples Republic in the Pacific Northwest.
Another son, Chevie Kehoe, is serving a life sentence in federal prison for his
role in the 1996 killings of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife and their
8-year-old daughter as part of the plot.
Cheyne Kehoe was convicted of attempted murder for his role in a shootout with
Ohio police during a traffic stop northeast of Cincinnati. No officers were
injured in the gun battle, but a passer-by was wounded by a bullet fragment.
Kirby Kehoe was convicted of racketeering and possession of illegal weapons in
a case related to the plot aimed at overthrowing the government. The elder Kehoe
has maintained he was never involved in his sons’ efforts to establish a
whites-only nation and that he isn’t a racist.
An attorney for Cheyne Kehoe has said his client has disavowed white supremacy.
Authorities said Cheyne Kehoe told them that his father had extreme
anti-government views, a separatist mentality on race issues and that he
actively was seeking to connect with others who have similar viewpoints. Cheyne
Kehoe also told authorities that he believed his father would put those views
into action when the government or societal order collapsed or if his health was
failing to a point where he felt he had nothing else to lose.