Man Accused of Retaliation in Utah Artifacts Case Is White Supremacist
By Mary Jacoby | July 24, 2022 1:51 am

A Utah man accused of planning to beat a government informant who helped build a case against alleged Indian artifacts thieves pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday. Prosecutors said he had ties to white supremacists.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Charles Denton Armstrong, 44, on Wednesday. He was charged with one count of retaliation. Prosecutors said Armstrong told a witness he planned to tie a government informant to a tree and beat him with a baseball bat. Armstrong blamed the informant for the suicide of his doctor, James Redd, the government said. Read the Salt Lake Tribune story here.

Redd killed himself June 11, a day after 150 federal agents raided the homes of Utahans suspected of trafficking in artifacts stolen from tribal lands. The raids, which netted 24 indictments, sparked a chorus of protests in Utah, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) criticized Attorney General Eric Holder for them at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in June.  Utah U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman later held a news conference to say the raids were conducted under standard operating procedure and to deny that excessive force was used.

Another accused artifacts trafficker also later committed suicide. Read our previous report about the suicides here. Redd’s wife and daughter, meanwhile, pleaded guilty earlier this month to theft charges in connection with the case.

According to the Deseret News:

Armstrong, who was being treated by James Redd for a degenerative spinal disorder, told a witness that he knew who the confidential source was who helped in the investigation and that he was going to “take care of him” because he blamed the source for Redd’s suicide.

Prosecutors say Armstrong has a violent history, has served time in prison and identified himself as a member of a white supremacist gang.

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