Authorities investigating hate group

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 8, 2002

Local authorities are investigating the presence of a hate group in Austin.

Search warrants were executed and raids conducted at rooms at Austin Motel and Holiday Inn of Austin Friday afternoon, plus a vehicle in Sutton Park.

According to Capt. Curt Rude of the Austin Police Department,

Email newsletter signup

a 25-year-old Lyle man, a 19-year-old Austin man and a 29-year-old Austin man were arrested in connection with the raids.

A 17-year-old juvenile female was turned over to the Many Rivers Juvenile Detention Center at Rochester.

A quantity of drugs, marijuana and mushrooms, was seized, plus cash.

Vehicle traffic between the Austin Motel and the Holiday Inn of Austin made officers suspicious, police began surveillance and obtained search warrants.

After the Friday afternoon raids in Austin, the

southwest Austin home of Mower County Sheriff Barry G. Simonson was vandalized with "I.E. Wood" spray painted on the exterior and a pickup truck's tires flattened.

Last week, "vague" threats by known associates of the Inland Empire organization Austin were made to the Mower County Attorney's office staff.

According to Rude, officers of the Austin Police and Mower County Sheriff's departments were aided by the Southeast Minnesota Drug Narcotics task Force.

The Minnesota Attorney General's office will be asked to review the evidence collected and formal charges are expected to be filed this week by the Mower County Attorney.