Behind the mask, no one knows you're black. Unless...
A former resident of O'Fallon, Illinois, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in East St. Louis on charges that he mailed threatening letters to police and city officials claiming to be a member of the KKK intent on violence.
According to federal prosecutors, a letter mailed November 9, 2006, read: "Get all the blacks from Chevy Chase Apartments from out of O'Fallon
before we burn the [w]hole complex down. KKK warning." A follow-up letter mailed nine days later to O'Fallon City Hall warned: "Get all the blacks out of
O'Fallon before we start burning the[ir] houses down."
What's so odd about the letters is that the defendant, Justin Lamar Kidd, is African-American. So what possessed the now 28-year-old Kidd to mail the letters?
Prosecutors have yet to reveal that explanation, though the U.S. Attorney for Southern Illinois says the fake KKK threats had to be taken seriously.
"As I have said in other cases, my office cannot and will not ignore threats of violence of this
nature," says U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton.
Kidd faces the possibility of ten years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine when sentenced this coming January. Kidd remains in custody -- held without bond -- until that January 13 sentencing hearing.