- Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A white supremacist who tried to take control of a small North Dakota town where he had hoped to establish an Aryan enclave is following through with plans to try to move to Missouri.

Craig Cobb, 62, was sentenced last month to four years of probation for terrorizing the residents of Leith. Cobb said during his sentencing that he wanted to go to his native state of Missouri to care for his mother. He told The Associated Press in April that he was tired of being in the spotlight and wanted to “retire from white nationalism.”

Cobb made a formal request to Missouri to accept him through an interstate compact that regulates the supervision of adult offenders, North Dakota Corrections Department spokesman Tim Tausend said Friday. Missouri will have to agree to assume responsibility for Cobb’s supervision before he can leave North Dakota.

“If I don’t get it, I’ll stay right here in North Dakota, get a job in the oil fields,” Cobb told the AP on Friday, referring to his request to move to Missouri. “You bet me I’ll get a job. I’m good at it.”

Tausend said offenders who want to move to a different state have to have a place to stay. Cobb will not say where his mother lives and Tausend said he didn’t know.

North Dakota Corrections officials expect an answer from Missouri by mid-June, Tausend said. Officials with Missouri’s Department of Corrections didn’t immediately respond to AP requests for comment on when a decision might be made or whether Cobb’s friendship with Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. will work against him.

Cross is accused of killing three people in an April shooting rampage outside Jewish facilities in suburban Kansas City, Missouri.

Two years ago, Cobb fled Canada, where there is an outstanding hate crime charge against him, and came to North Dakota, buying up lots in Leith and attempting to recruit others with white power views to come to the town of about two dozen residents and help him assume control. His plans fizzled, and he was jailed in mid-November after he and another man carried out armed patrols in the community.

Cobb later deeded the properties in Leith that he had not given to other white supremacists back to the town at no charge and negotiated a plea agreement with prosecutors that spared him prison time. The decision angered some Leith officials, who said Cobb had left behind a legacy of fear.

“Get him out of here. We don’t care,” town spokesman Greg Bruce said Friday. “I’m tired of him. I’m fine with him moving to Missouri.”

Cobb has been living in Bismarck since his release from jail, according to Tausend. Leith Mayor Ryan Schock said Cobb has stayed away from the town, as he must do under terms of his probation.

“We’re trying to get things back to normal,” Schock said, adding that “It would be all right if he just gets out of here (North Dakota).”

Cobb said he is not working. When asked how he is supporting himself, he replied, “I’m just waiting to be transferred.”

“I’m trying to get out of the state,” he said before ending the conversation without taking additional questions.


Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake

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