Continuance issued in trial of alleged white supremacist group ringleader

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A judge issued a continuance in the trial of an alleged ring leader of a white supremacist group.

Judge Jon B. Morgan granted what he called "his final" continuance in the case.

The trial for Marcus Faella is set for July 29, officials said Monday.

Local and federal investigators said Faella was training for a race war that involved an attack on Orlando City Hall.

The American Front has been described by officials as a militia-styled, anti-Semitic group with members being accused of racially motivated crimes and paramilitary training.

Authorities said they believe the group was training at a compound in the rural area of St. Cloud.

Prosecutors have had a hard time charging the 13 individuals who are allegedly members of the group operating in St. Cloud in south Osceola County. All of the defendants, except 40-year-old Faella, have either had their charges dropped or plea bargained.

Faella, who investigators said is one of the group's ringleaders, is going to trial to fight his charges.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer thinks the state has had a hard time prosecuting, in part, because its main evidence came from a paid FBI informant.

WFTV was the first to get this undercover video shot by the informant. It shows the alleged members make racially charged statements and firing guns, but not much else.

"Even if the speech is something we don't agree with, even if it's hateful, even if it's odious, it's still may be protected under the first amendment," said Sheaffer.

Prosecutors are hoping the charges stick and save what was a two-year investigation into the alleged hate group.

"If the charges are dropped in this case, coupled with the pleas and dismissals that we've seen, that really haven't resulted in any meaningful sentencing, it doesn't speak well for to the time, the money, the resources, that have been invested in this case," said Sheaffer.