by: Richard Elliot Updated:GAINESVILLE, Ga.,None —
Channel 2 Action News obtained secret audio recordings the FBI said was made by their undercover agents of a group of north Georgia men plotting terror attacks on government employees and civilians.
"A lot of people have to be taken down and taken down soon lest they further destroy our Constitution," said a voice prosecutors said was that of so-called ring leader Fred Thomas.
"But when it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people got to die," Thomas said on the tape.
Thomas, Dan Roberts, Ray Adams and Sam Crump are all charged with trying to obtain weapons and explosives to attack government and civilian targets.
Prosecutors said Thomas said to undercover agents, " Who are we shooting at? Civilian government operatives, that's who we're going to be shooting at. IRS, ATF, FBI and the cops."
After Federal Magistrate Judge Susan Cole heard the recordings last week, she ordered all four men held without bond. In her written detention order, Cole explained some of her reasons for holding all four men until trial.
"There are no conditions of release that would reasonably assure the safety of the community," wrote Cole.
She worried that, even though FBI agents testified they seized all the firearms and ammunition from Thomas's home, he might still find a way to get a weapon.
"He may have another firearm secreted on his property, and he may, with a simple phone call, be able to obtain such a weapon from a sympathizer," Cole wrote.
And about defendant Crump, she wrote, "...he knew how to make ricin and that he would like to make about 10 pounds of it and divide it into two pound bags for dispersal ... on highways in five major cities, including Atlanta."
Crump's attorney filed a notice of appeal with the court. He doesn't believe his client should remain in jail until his trial.