Former Tulsan On Trial For Racially Motivated Bombing
TULSA, Oklahoma - A former Tulsan is on trial in connection with a 2004 mail bombing. The self-proclaimed white separatist is accused of sending a letter bomb to a black city official in Arizona.
But before facing those federal charges, he was a notorious figure here in Green Country.
Dennis Mahon spoke openly of his views here in Tulsa, even throwing his hat into the 1998 race for mayor.
It was February of 2004. A man who worked in the diversity office for the city of Phoenix opened a package and almost lost his life.
"I had pain sensations in my hand and I noticed I had blood running down my arm. And at that point I thought, self talk, Logan, that was a bomb," said Don Logan, Arizona bombing victim.
Federal prosecutors say Dennis Mahon and his twin brother were behind the attack. But long before he was accused of conspiring to blow up buildings, Mahon was making explosive comments here in Tulsa.
"Your grandchildren are going to be replaced by Orientals and Mexicans," Dennis Mahon said when he interrupted a 1992 town hall meeting hosted by then-Congressman Jim Inhofe.
Mahon has been active with the White Aryan Resistance movement and the KKK for years. He calls himself a separatist.
"Separatism means that you would prefer to be left alone. As a white separatist, I'd like to have my own schools, my own culture and my own community spirit. And if you look at it, it's a natural way of doing things," Mahon said in a 1998 interview.
Mahon was investigated before in connection with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He was never really a suspect, but boasted of knowing Timothy McVeigh and once called him a hero.
Boasting is allegedly what connected him to the Phoenix bombing. Federal prosecutors used a young woman as a confidential informant.
Court records say she lived in the same Catoosa trailer park as the Mahon brothers, but her trailer was outfitted with surveillance equipment.
The Associated Press reports the informant struck up a friendship with the Mahons, giving them racy photos of herself with a grenade in her bikini top posing in front of a pickup truck with a swastika.
The Mahons were arrested at their Illinois home in 2009, after a five-year undercover federal investigation.
The federal trial started Tuesday and is expected to last about two months.