Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of Adrian Apodaca, the New Mexico man accused of plotting to kill an Atlanta drug dealer over a debt owed to white supremacists in Davie.
Federal prosecutors said Apodaca, now 45, was unaware that everyone involved in the plot, from the people paying him $5,000 and promising him a stolen ID, to the intended victim who drove around in a flashy red Corvette but couldn’t find the money to pay for his cocaine supply, was an undercover FBI agent.
Several of those agents took the stand in West Palm Beach Tuesday and Wednesday to testify about how they gained Apodaca’s trust, waiting for him to confess to murders he allegedly committed in New Mexico and Arizona or signal a willingness to commit future crimes for the cause of white nationalism.
Jurors listened to hours of recordings of their conversations, capped late Wednesday afternoon by one in which Apodaca apparently offers to kill the Atlanta drug dealer without being prompted by the supposed leader of the local white supremacists. The leader, an undercover agent who still uses the same alias and whose real name was not disclosed to the jury, responded to Apodaca’s offer by promising to pay him $5,000, following it up with a chance for the defendant to back out of the plan.
Apodaca was arrested last fall after travelling to Georgia to carry out the murder, according to investigators.
Defense lawyer Neison Marks is arguing that Apodaca is the victim of entrapment — the crime being prosecuted would not have existed if not for the FBI concocting the story of the drug dealer’s debt while investigating Apodaca for his alleged confessions to murders in New Mexico and Arizona.
Those confessions were made to white supremacist Steven Watt, who testified Monday that while he shares the racial beliefs of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white separatists, he does not advocate unprovoked or excessive violence.
Watt agreed in 2009 to join the Dirty White Boys Motorcycle Club in Davie, which he described as a white supremacist group. The FBI paid his membership dues, Watt said, in exchange for Watt’s agreement to inform investigators about illegal activities.
Apodaca was not a member of the club, but he lived in a trailer on the club’s property and shared their beliefs, according to trial testimony.
When Apodaca bragged about murders and other acts of violence, Watt said he felt morally obliged to tell the FBI.
The decision, followed by the investigation and the charges against Apodaca, exposed Watt as an informant and cost him his friendships with other members of the club and with white supremacists across the country. Watt said he has gone into hiding and is concerned about what could happen to him if he is confronted by white supremacist groups like the Outlaw biker gang, the Vinlanders or the Hammerskins.
The Apodaca trial, before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra, is expected to continue into next week at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach.
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