Police investigating the sale of fake sports memorabilia were led to an Ohio man who lived a double life as a weapons stockpiling White supremacist. Last December, 48-year-old Richard Schmidt, an ex-felon, was nabbed by federal authorities for the knockoff goods. The arrest revealed that Schmidt also stockpiled 18 guns and had a list of Black and Jewish leaders in Detroit he was hoping to assassinate.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Schmidt , of Toledo, pleaded guilty to federal gun and counterfeiting charges in July; he is slated to be sentenced this October. Police seized not only the fake jerseys from China, but also the guns along with over 40,000 rounds of ammunition. Officials are baffled that an ex-felon with murky ties to White Supremacist groups was able to obtain firearms and body armor.
“I can’t tell you how he got all those guns and ammunition,” said U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach to the Plain Dealer. “It’s not that I won’t tell you; it’s that I can’t. This is somebody who should never have had one gun, one bullet. But he had an entire arsenal.”
Regarding the list of targets, Scott Kaufman of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit was frightened by the discovery of his name among Schmidt list of targets.
“For a convicted violent felon to amass an arsenal with 40,000 rounds of ammunition with no red flags popping up is problematic,” Kaufman said. “No matter where you stand on the gun issue, it makes you wonder. The moment I saw my name in this guy’s notebook, I freaked out.”
Although Schmidt’s attorney claims that his client is not a monster and was simply a “survivalist” not looking to harm anyone, the man’s past tells another story.
In August of 1989, Schmidt squared off with 20-year-old Anthony Torres and a pair of his friends. Torres reportedly grabbed a baseball bat and Schmidt responded by firing three shots into Torres’ chest, killing him and also shot his friends in the legs.
Federal authorities have been investigating Schmidt’s Spindletop Sports Zone business in Bowling Green since 2011 on suspicion of counterfeit goods.