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Friday, July 19, 2024

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-FBI Source Reveals How He Infiltrated Anti-Gov’t Groups

'I admit I've lied, I’ve cheated, I’ve stole for the FBI. I sold drugs for them; recorded illegally for the FBI...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Former FBI confidential human source David Gletty has provided Headline USA with a tell-all interview, describing how he went from a Florida redneck to infiltrating neo-Nazi and other anti-government groups in the late 1990s through 2007.

In the process, Gletty candidly told this publication that his handlers directed him to disrupt those groups by just about any means necessary—even if it meant skirting the Fourth Amendment and other constitutional protections.

“You get into the FBI office, there’s audio and video recordings everywhere, and they have to tell you to do things by the book: ‘You can’t do this and you can’t do that.’ But then, when they walk me out to the parking lot to my car, that’s where they tell you, ‘Look, we need results, we need to send shockwaves. We don’t care what it takes,'” he said.

“I admit I’ve lied, I’ve cheated, I’ve stole for the FBI. I sold drugs for them; recorded illegally for the FBI.”

Gletty makes no apologies for what he did. He said his work helped take down drug dealers, robbers, rapists and even deadly terrorists.

However, with the FBI now using some of its same dirty tactics against mainstream conservatives—Newsweek warns the FBI is resorting to the “infiltration of political circles and other controversial government activity” ahead of the upcoming election—Gletty has a warning for right-wing dissidents.

“If you have 10 people at a meeting, eight probably work for the FBI,” he said.

Gletty knows that from experience. And he said he’s willing to share his experiences because the FBI discarded him in 2007, after he was outed as an informant in open court.

The FBI has declined to comment on Gletty other than to confirm that he did work for the bureau.

An Undercover Nazi

A self-described adrenaline junkie, Getty grew up a Florida redneck: wrestling alligators, riding horses, swinging from trees like Tarzan, and flirting with other dangerous activities to get his kick.

So when the FBI asked Gletty to infiltrate right-wing anti-government groups in the late 1990s, he jumped at the chance.

Here, Gletty makes a distinction between himself and the typical FBI informant who works for the government to avoid or downgrade criminal charges. He said he did it for the money and adrenaline rush.

“I was not an informant. I hate that word. I was an operative. Informants are more like people who got in trouble,” he said, explaining, “They send in operatives when the FBI is fed up in not getting results. We helped get criminals arrested more quickly than they would on their own.

“Some say we set them up; I don’t care. We used everything to get them arrested because a couple arrests pay off in terms of paranoia and distrust in the group.”

Because Gletty didn’t testify in a criminal case, his activities from the late-90s and early 2000s are largely undocumented.

At first, Gletty said his assignment from the FBI was simply to become ingratiated with racist right-wing groups. To do that, he hung out at the same bars frequented by neo-Nazis and other white nationalists. Eventually, he began going hunting and white-water rafting in the Appalachian Mountains with some of them.

According to Gletty, the FBI wanted him to flip right-wingers into informants more than it wanted him to build actual cases. When he was working on a criminal case, he’d typically be the one to introduce an undercover agent before taking a back-seat role while the government’s investigation unfolded.

“The FBI might get more informants from the work I did than arrests. And then they go to work for the government to stay out of jail, and it’s a cascading event from there,” he said.

At some point in the late 90s, Gletty said, an Aryan Nations member began discussing partnering with al-Qaeda—this was before 9/11—to denotate radiological bombs throughout American cities. Gletty has also told this story in his book, Undercover Nazi.

Gletty said he helped the FBI comb through hundreds of white-water rafting tourist photos that were taken at the French Broad River in North Carolina to find the Aryan Nations member, whom Gletty referred to as “Gary the Mountain Guy.” Gletty said he doesn’t know Gary’s last name or what happened to him.

While Gletty described himself as playing a relatively low-key role in his early tenure as an undercover Nazi, the FBI apparently had bigger plans for him in the mid-2000s.

By that time, Gletty had assembled his own crew, which included two other FBI confidential human sources, his friends Joe and Fred. Gletty hasn’t released Joe and Fred’s last names—he said Joe continued working undercover after he stopped—but their photos do appear in his book.

By all accounts, Gletty excelled in infiltrating Florida’s right-wing underground and making a name for himself. He was already known as “Gator Gletty” in Central Florida for wrestling alligators and competing in televised roller-derby events—and those crazy exploits made it easy for him to socialize with neo-Nazis, skinheads and other potential criminals of all stripes.

“Everyone would come up to me and say, ‘David we saw you on the television!,'” he said.

The FBI wanted to exploit and enhance Gletty’s notoriety.

According to Gletty, the FBI instructed him to organize the Orlando event on behalf of the National Socialist Movement—a group founded by an FBI informant and almost certainly headed by another informant, Jeff Schoep, at that time. The NSM and FBI needed Gletty to sign the permit for the event because he lived in Orlando, and the law required someone in the NSM to live there in order to hold a protest.

The rally would serve two purposes: raising Gletty’s profile in the neo-Nazi movement, and allowing the FBI to conduct surveillance of the Nazis who attended the rally.

The FBI’s plan worked. After a rambunctious February 2006 rally, the bureau had hundreds of photos of neo-Nazis for its then-nascent facial recognition system. Meanwhile, Gletty was plastered over newspapers and television screens as the “face of hate.”

“My own mother called me crying: ‘Oh my God I didn’t raise you like this David,’” Gletty said.

The Orlando rally also caught the attention of another group in the area: the Confederate Hammerskins, who weren’t happy about their backyard being used by neo-Nazis.

Setting up the Hammerskins

Gletty said the Confederate Hammerskins were mad that the NSM held a rally on their turf, and they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

“They’re like, ‘Who the hell is David Gletty organizing a Nazi rally in our town?’ Because Nazis and skinheads hate each other. At parties, they’re the first one to fight. So now, I’m a Nazi trying to become a skinhead. The skinheads came and saw me because everyone knew where I live. They came and saw me, and that’s what I wanted,” he said.

“They’re like: You’ve got two choices: Keep going on like you are, or join with us. And I’m like, ‘This is gold. I was finally with the Confederate Hammerskins. It took like two years.'”

Up to that point, the FBI had largely used Gletty to spy on right-wing groups and turn other members into informants. But with the Confederate Hammerskins, the bureau wanted to make a criminal case against the group.

In his interview with Headline USA and in his book, Gletty described using illegal tactics to take down his targets in the Hammerskins: John Rock and Tom Martin.

Gletty admitted to using copious amounts of cocaine, as well as riling them up with provocative statements.

Court records corroborate Gletty, showing that he pushed a plan with Rock and Martin to rob drug dealers, telling them at one point that “we want to roll up with fucking guns drawn.”

The self-described operative also talked about manipulating surveillance recordings, though he didn’t say he did that in the Hammerskins case.

“There’s not a GPS on my recorder, so it does not know where I’m at. It’s relying on me to tell it the time and place; where I’m going and who I’m seeing,” he said. “Then I’ve got to run the thing entirely. Then after I leave I tell it the time and date—but I can actually tell it a different time and date.”

Regardless of whether Gletty was coloring outside the lines on his own accord or under the direction of his handlers, his tactics worked. He helped the FBI set up a successful sting on Rock and Martin, who were both arrested before they could rob some unsuspecting crack dealers on the night of Feb. 9, 2007.

Martin and Rock would both claim Gletty entrapped them—and they were probably right. Gletty said the FBI wanted specifically to entrap the two Hammerskins in a plot to rob drug dealers.

“I was there with them, and I might have put that seed in their heads six months ago before the event happened,” he said, referencing the “event” as the night he, Martin and Rock were set to rob some crack dealers before the FBI swooped in.

Despite the evidence that they may have been entrapped, Rock and Martin both took plea deals. Entrapment defenses are extremely difficult to argue in court, as the Whitmer kidnap plot showed.

Again, Gletty said he has no regrets for what he did to take down Rock and Martin, both whom were allegedly violent criminals.

“I believe the Constitution is for everyone, no matter what. But once you violate the rights of others, you no longer have those rights for yourself,” he said. “Don’t screw with the Constitution, man, that pisses us off.”

Now, Gletty said he wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI used the same entrapment playbook for events such as the disastrous 2017 Charlottesville Unite the Right rally and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill uprising.

“I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but from the work I’ve done. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve held protests under the direction of the FBI, so it’s not unreasonable to say, ‘Yes the FBI initiated these events’ knowing that things would go haywire,” he said.

“I know that if there’s a hornets nest, I can control the thing initially. I can poke a coupel holes in it and run, but I can’t control all the wasp and hornets. And they’re going to do what they do, and hurt innocent people that weren’t even involved when I poked the holes in the thing.”

For the full interview with Gletty, see here:

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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