More fed­eral charges could be handed down on ‘prep­per’

Bailey, for­mer Trump del­e­gate, be­ing held with­out bond pend­ing an­other hear­ing

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

Ap­pear­ing Wed­nes­day morn­ing in U.S. District Court in Green­belt for a de­ten­tion hear­ing, for­mer Don­ald Trump del­e­gate Caleb An­drew Bailey re­mains in fed­eral cus­tody af­ter the judge over­turned an or­der of re­lease which was ap­pealed by pros­e­cu­tors in lower court last week.

Bailey, 30, of Wal­dorf may face an­other in­dict­ment as in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­tinue to process a slew of ev­i­dence re­cov­ered from an un­der­ground bunker, hid­den be­hind the vault door of a large safe in his house, court pro­ceed­ings re­vealed.

The case be­gan af­ter a pack­age, re­port­edly mailed by Bailey, rup­tured at a U.S. Postal Ser­vice fa­cil­ity in Fe­bru­ary. In­side the pack­age, which was ad­dressed to a firearms store in Wis­con­sin, po­lice found il­le­gal ex­plo­sive am­mu­ni­tion.

When po­lice raided Bailey’s home in May, they re­cov­ered an enor­mous cache of weapons, hid­den cam­eras and an archive of child pornog­ra­phy, about 600 videos, pros­e­cu­tors said. Some ap­peared to have

been down­loaded from the in­ter­net, but the gov­ern­ment claims Bailey also used hid­den cam­eras to se­cretly record three naked teenage boys so he could watch later for his own sex­ual sat­is­fac­tion, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings.

“He’s se­cre­tive. He’s a ghost,” said As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Jen­nifer Sykes. “He’s de­ceived so many peo­ple … these mi­nors who trusted him.”

A month be­fore the search war­rant, Bailey was elected in Mary­land’s pri­mary elec­tion as a del­e­gate in sup­port of Don­ald Trump to at­tend the Repub­li­can National Con­ven­tion held in Cleve­land in July. Bailey was elected as a Trump del­e­gate by GOP vot­ers in the Fifth Con­gres­sional District, which in­cludes Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s coun­ties, and parts of Prince Ge­orge’s and Anne Arun­del.

Caleb Bailey’s fa­ther, Collins Bailey, is the for­mer vice chair­man of the Mary­land Repub­li­can Party, and re­mains a Trump del­e­gate for the up­com­ing con­ven­tion in Cleve­land, ac­cord­ing to Joe Clus­ter, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Repub­li­can Party.

On a hard drive re­cov­ered by po­lice, in­ves­ti­ga­tors found fold­ers named af­ter each of the three boys, court pro­ceeds re­vealed. In­side the fold­ers were sub-fold­ers la­beled “hid­den cam­era videos,” pros­e­cu­tors said. Footage from the bath­room cam­era is aimed to­ward the shower, fo­cused on the boys’ gen­i­tals.

“This was not in­ad­ver­tent,” said Sykes. “This was pur­pose­ful.”

Law en­force­ment has not yet in­ter­viewed the three boys, and pros­e­cu­tors are con­cerned that their re­la­tion­ship with Bailey may in­flu­ence them. Bailey had be­friended them and of­ten rode ATVs with them, court pro­ceed­ings re­vealed.

Dur­ing the po­lice raid, one of the boys, di­rected by Bailey, ran out of the house with a lap­top, a cam­era and an ex­ter­nal hard drive, which con­tained child pornog­ra­phy, pros­e­cu­tors said.

U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm noted that it is well doc­u­mented that vic­tims in child porn cases are of­ten “groomed” by the per­pe­tra­tor, and the fact that the boys have not been in­ter­viewed could sug­gest they are un­will­ing or afraid to talk to the gov­ern­ment.

Grimm, who re­tired as a lieu­tenant colonel in the U.S. Army Re­serve, called the weapons cache dis­cov­ered in Bailey’s un­der­ground bunker “sim­ply jaw-drop­ping in its mag­ni­tude,” adding that he has never seen an ar­se­nal of that size.

Amongst the re­cov­ered weapons were at least 14 ma­chine guns — AR-15 ri­fles — which Bailey al­legedly con­verted to fire fully au­to­matic, pros­e­cu­tors said. At least one of them had a drum mag­a­zine at­tach­ment. Law en­force­ment is con­tin­u­ing to test the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of var­i­ous other weapons seized in the raid with con­cern of le­gal­ity. Po­lice also found mul­ti­ple phos­pho­rous grenades, at least one 37mm launcher, and many other weapons, pros­e­cu­tors noted.

De­fense At­tor­ney Wil­liam Bren­nan, Jr. con­ceded to some of the al­le­ga­tions, but ar­gued that Bailey was not dan­ger­ous or a flight-risk. Rather, Bailey is a “prep­per,” he said, and ex­plained why Bailey had set up a hid­den cam­era in the bath­room.

“The gov­ern­ment prefers to call it a bunker; we pre­fer to call it a safe room,” Bren­nan said. “The vast ma­jor­ity of the weapons ... were in fact le­gal.”

“We agree there were a lot of weapons in there,” he said, but pointed out that there were items con­sis­tent with post-dis­as­ter sur­vival prepa­ra­tion in the bunker, such as large jugs of wa­ter, flash lights, first-aid kits and MRE ra­tions.

Re­gard­ing the hid­den cam­era in the bath­room, Bren­nan told the court that Bailey had orig­i­nally placed it there to catch a for­mer room­mate that Bailey sus­pected of us­ing drugs, kick­ing him out of the house upon dis­cov­ery. Bren­nan did not deny that Bailey was in pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy down­loaded from the in­ter­net, but said he did not man­u­fac­ture it him­self by us­ing the cam­eras.

“Mr. Ben­nett, how did the fam­ily not know about it?” asked Grimm, who also won­dered how Bailey could af­ford to amass such an ar­ray of weapons.

His fam­ily knew he col­lected firearms, Bren­nan said, but “they ab­so­lutely did not know the ex­tent of this.”

Bren­nan in­di­cated that Bailey may have si­phoned off some of his fam­ily’s prop­erty.

Caleb Bailey lives alone in the house, lo­cated on a 75-acre plot of land owned by his fa­ther who owns a whole­sale lum­ber busi­ness, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings.

The Bailey fam­ily had agreed to post Caleb’s bond with a prop­erty val­ued around $1.5 mil­lion. U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge Charles Day had agreed to these terms last week, with con­di­tions that Bailey live with his sis­ter in St. Mary’s County. She would act as a third-party cus­to­dian while Caleb’s par­ents would su­per­vise him in her ab­sence to en­sure that he did not vi­o­late his con­di­tions of re­lease, which in­cluded no in­ter­net ac­cess, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings.

How­ever, Day stayed his or­der of re­lease upon ap­peal from As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­neys Thomas Win­dom and Sykes, and trans­ferred the case to U.S. District Court to be heard by Grimm.

Ul­ti­mately, Grimm ruled in fa­vor of the gov­ern­ment, mean­ing Bailey will re­main in cus­tody to await trial, un­less con­di­tions of re­lease could be agreed upon in the mean­time.

Bailey’s next hear­ing date is pend­ing.

“Bailey faces a max­i­mum sen­tence of 10 years in prison for un­law­ful trans­port of ex­plo­sives by a non-li­censee and for il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a ma­chine gun; a manda­tory min­i­mum of 15 years and a max­i­mum of 30 years in prison for pro­duc­tion and at­tempted pro­duc­tion of child pornog­ra­phy; and a max­i­mum sen­tence of 10 years in prison for pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

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