(Ken Silva, Headline USA) In the 1990s, Pennsylvania man Scott Stedeford was a member of the Aryan Republican Army, a neo-Nazi group that robbed at least 22 banks with the goal of funding right-wing terrorism.
Initially known as the most prolific gang of bank robbers in the 90s, the ARA has since received much attention for its links to the Oklahoma City bombing. The group was featured earlier this year in Showtime’s Waco: The Aftermath, which chronicled the time from the April 19, 1993, Waco massacre to the OKC bombing exactly two years later—implicating the ARA in the process.
But all that’s apparently ancient history for Stedeford, who was released from prison in 2021 after about 25 years of incarceration.
Stedeford filed a motion last September to terminate his supervised release and make him a free man once and for all. In his motion, Stedeford, who still lives in Pennsylvania, provided an update on what the convicted Aryan bank robber has been doing since his release.
“Within two weeks at his residence, Mr. Stedeford obtained gainful employment at the top-rated restaurant in his area. Just two months later, his employers (all of Asian descent) recognized him for his advancement to the position of team leader,” Stedeford said in his motion, signaling that the one-time neo-Nazi is now fine working in a multicultural environment.
Stedeford added that he was made full-time manager in March.
“In all his official capacity, Mr. Stedeford interacts directly with the public. He has been in charge of the interviewing, hiring, training, and working with many people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and disabilities.”
The reason Stedeford is seeking an end to his supervised release, according to his motion, is because his fiancé lives in Phoenix and his sick mother is in Philadelphia.
“The situation is such that Mr. Stedeford now has a need to travel with frequency between the two locations,” he said in his Sept. 2022 motion. “However, probation has made it clear that while under its jurisdiction, it cannot approve any degree of frequent travel.”
In a response last October, the Justice Department opposed Stedeford’s request. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer recounted Stedeford’s criminal history in opposing his early release from supervision.
“It is estimated that the [ARA] committed as many as 22 robberies across the United States beginning in November 1992, netting its members more than $250,000 over three years. Stedeford participated in at least seven, which took place between October 25, 1994, and December 19, 1995,” Zauzmer said.
“He acted as one of the gunmen in three of the robberies, and helped organize and acted as a getaway driver in the others.”
A district court denied Stedeford’s motion in June, and he appealed in August. The DOJ has already moved to toss his appeal as “untimely.”
Stedeford responded on Sept. 22, arguing that a paperwork snafu prevented him from filing his appeal in a timely manner. He said his appeal should be allowed to move forward.
The DOJ has yet to reply to Stedeford’s latest filing.
Meanwhile, the ARA’s co-founder, Peter Langan, remains in prison. Langan, who now goes by the first name Donna, made history earlier this year as the first federal prison inmate in American history to receive a sex change—an event first reported by this publication.
Langan has accused the ARA—particularly, ARA member Kevin McCarthy—of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing.
While Langan is a convicted felon and former neo-Nazi, the accusation is supported by the fact that Stedeford and McCarthy had both spent time at Elohim City—a Christian Identity property where Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was also seen. Additionally, criminologist Mark Hamm has made the case that the ARA was involved in the bombing in his book on the subject, In Bad Company: America’s Terrorist Underground.
Langan’s accusations are further detailed in this story.
Stedeford has also cast suspicion on his former friend, McCarthy.
In an affidavit Stedeford filed in 1998—provided to Headline USA by OKC bombing researcher Richard Booth—he accused McCarthy of ratting on him. Stedeford further accused McCarthy of receiving special treatment from law enforcement, due to his uncle being a Philly police officer with connections to the FBI.
“I recall that McCarthy and I were housed together in the Federal Correctional Institution in Fairton, New Jersey, for a period of approximately five days. During this period, McCarthy informed me that his uncle, an active Philadelphia police officer, participated in his arrest and accompanied him to the FBI office in downtown Philadelphia,” Stedeford said at the time.
“McCarthy further informed me that his uncle was good friends with an FBI agent in the Philadelphia office and had been summoned by the FBI to help investigate and apprehend McCarthy,” he said.
“Based on information McCarthy was telling me about the case, I suspected that the uncle was funnelling information to him from the FBI’s investigation.”
Stedeford did not respond to a letter from Headline USA.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.