Feds defend ex-stripper's spy role
PHOENIX -- She has been dubbed the "trailer park Mata Hari," an ex-stripper recruited by the federal government to spy on twin brothers suspected of carrying out a white-supremacist bombing.
She moved into the same Oklahoma trailer park, dressed provocatively, used racial slurs and talked like a separatist. And she won the brothers' confidence over a five-year period by sending them racy photos of herself, including a shot in a Confederate-flag bikini bottom.
As the trial of the 61-year-old twins winds down in federal court, defense attorneys argue that the government's conduct was outrageous and the informant's role amounted to sexual entrapment.
During closing arguments yesterday, prosecutor Michael Morrissey told the jury that the hiring of the informant, identified as Rebecca "Becca" Williams, was "entirely permissible and necessary" to the investigation of Dennis and Daniel Mahon. "There was no use of sex to obtain evidence," he said.
The brothers are accused of sending a package bomb in 2004 that maimed Don Logan, a black man who was the diversity director for Scottsdale, the Phoenix suburb. Logan, 54, was hospitalized for three days and needed four operations on his hand and arm. The bombing also wounded a secretary.
Morrissey said the Mahons were believers in "racial terrorism and violence as a way to accomplish their goals."
Williams, who is 20 years younger than the Mahons, said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recruited her after it used her brother as an informant to infiltrate the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.
At the time, Williams testified, she was about to be evicted from her trailer and needed the money. She received $45,000, including expenses, and said she was promised $100,000 upon the Mahons' conviction.
Investigators had her pose as a separatist who was fleeing an arrest warrant and wanted to learn about Aryan resistance and how to make a bomb so she could use one on a child molester she knew. The story was designed to get the brothers to open up about the Scottsdale bombing.
Williams gave the Mahons racy photos.
Prosecutors said the brothers belonged to the White Aryan Resistance, which encourages members to act as "lone wolves" and commit violence against nonwhites and the government.
Under tense cross-examination, she acknowledged previously being an exotic dancer.
The "Mata Hari" nickname the defense gave her is a reference to the exotic dancer convicted of working for Germany as a World War I spy.
The Mahons left the Phoenix area after the bombing and were arrested in 2009 in Illinois. They are charged with explosives-related offenses and conspiracy to damage buildings and property.