|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 67 - Tuesday April 05, 2005
|Wolfgang Droege White Supremacist who Tried to Overthrow Dominica's Government is Shot to Death |
by TheDominican.net Newsdesk
Wolfgang Droege a white supremacist who spent three years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government of Eugenia Charles in Dominica, was reportedly shot dead in a suburban Toronto apartment on April 14, 2005.
Droege who once led the neo-Nazi Heritage Front was found dead after police responded to complaints of gunshots at a Scarborough apartment building Wednesday afternoon.
In what became known as operation Red Dog, Klu Klax clan leaders Droege, and Don Black (US) as well as former Prime Minister Patrick John conspired to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Eugenia Charles.
The invasion was meant to restore John to power and to transform the island into a white supremacist nation. John was forced to resign in 1979 after a popular uprising against his Administration.
On April 27 1981 Black, Droege, Larry Lloyd Jacklin and seven other men were arrested by the US Federal Agents in New Orleans as they prepared to board a boat with automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dynamite, ammunition, and a black and white Nazi flag. The incident was later dubbed the Bayou of Pigs.
The plan was to charter a boat to Dominica and rendez vous via rubber boats with John and his makeshift army, made up of remnants of the Dominica Defense Force. The genesis of the idea came from long-time Klan member Mike Purdue, who was introduced in 1979 to Droege through David Duke.
That summer, Purdue outlined his plan to overthrow the government of Grenada and to set-up several lucrative businesses. After their meeting, it was established that Droege would locate funds and resources.
Duke initially involved Don Andrews but after Purdue changed the target island to Dominica, Andrews bailed out. Andrews however put Purdue in contact with Klansmen Arnie Polli and Roger Dermee who were paid US$3,000 to visit Dominica to obtain preliminary reconnaissance.
Andrews also put Purdue in contact with Charles Yanover, who was a well-known organized crime figure. Yanover who was ecstatic with the idea, provided Purdue with a $10,000 advance. In return for the investment, Yanover was given the right to set-up a gunrunning operation to smuggle weapons into South Africa and Central America.
According to a 1987 analysis by Stanley Barllet, the reason for the invasion was not to set up a white supremacist nation, but rather to establish lucrative businesses involving casinos, cocaine and brothels.
It was later revealed that in the summer of 1980 Droege traveled to Dominica and spent nearly two weeks on the island meeting with several investors from Las Vegas. The investors, who were connected to the Mafia, invited Droege to Las Vegas to further discuss the invasion.
Droege and Purdue returned to Las Vegas in January 1981 to finalize the plans with their new business associates. At the meeting, it was decided that Droege would remain in Nevada while Purdue would travel to Dominica to get Patrick John to sign a contract that secured the participation of the military in the coup as well as assurances that all natural resources and development projects on the island would be handed over to the mercenaries and the investors.
In return, Purdue promised John that he would be reinstated as Prime Minister. Under the agreement with the business group from Las Vegas, the mercenaries would receive more than $8 million. By winter 1981, Droege and Purdue had secured more than $100,000 in capital for the invasion.
In February 1981, the captain and crew Duke had arranged for backed out. Purdue then approached a local boat captain and Vietnam veteran, Michael S. Howell. Purdue said the CIA needed his boat for a covert operation. Howell then contacted the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
To make matters worse, Mcquirter contacted a reporter from CFTR radio (Toronto) in March 1981 and informed him of the coup. McQuirter's intention was to capitalize on the ensuing media coverage, thus building his public image. Suffering an ethical dilemma between an exclusive-story or allowing many people to die, the reporter, apparently against the direction of his superior at CFTR, eventually contacted the OPP.
In April 1981, Charles Yanover and an associate returned from a reconnaissance trip of the island to attend the final operational planning meeting. At the meeting it was decided that Marion McGuire and Yanover would return to Dominica, just days prior to the coup to meet with the invasion team after they landed on the beach.
McQuirter would also travel to Dominica a few days in advance to organize local resistance with the help of John and his military leaders. The invasion force, which included Droege, Purdue, Don Black and seven other Americans, would leave from New Orleans on Howell's boat with all of the weapons and explosives onboard.
On April 25, John was arrested in Dominica after Prime Minister Charles was tipped off by the FBI. When Purdue learned of the arrest and that their plans were no longer secret, he insisted that the mission should continue.
On April 27, the group, including three ATF agents, met at the predetermined location, loaded the van and proceeded to the marina. The FBI and SWAT team members were lying in wait. Purdue and Droege never thought that they would get caught. The agents confiscated a number of automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dynamite, over 5000 rounds of ammunition, and a black and white Nazi flag.
The legal system was not kind to the mercenaries. Droege, Purdue, and McQuire each received a three-year prison term while Yanover was sentenced to 6 months. The other mercenaries received anywhere from a year to three years. McQuirter, however, was not charged until a year after the failed coup. Apparently, McQuirter, thinking he was not culpable of a criminal offence, openly bragged about his involvement in the coup to the media.
McQuirter was eventually charged with conspiracy to overthrow a foreign government, fraud, and conspiracy to commit murder (a charge related to McQuirter planning to kill his girlfriend's former common-law husband) and received two years for his involvement in the coup and five more for conspiracy to commit murder. Patrick John would eventually be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Arnie Polli, the police informant, and the CFTR reporter both escaped criminal prosecution.
Nearly 20 years after the failed coup, Droege was quoted in the Canadian Press as saying that the objectives were completely achievable. "We had the men and the resources," he said, "It was just unfortunate that we got caught." Putting a positive spin on the experience, Droege asserted "But jail wasn't that bad. It really put American society and the racial issue into perspective. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to network with other racialist leaders, which really helped me after I got out."
Editorís Note: For this report, we drew on an essay written by Canadian student Matthew Lauder, Historian Lennox Honneychurch and other internet resources.
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