White Supremacist Case Set to Go to Jury : Courts: In closing arguments, prosecutors contend Christian and Doris Nadal illegally manufactured and sold weapons to aid the movement. Defense says they were entrapped by FBI.
A federal prosecutor described a San Fernando Valley couple Tuesday as racist extremists who illegally sold machine guns to help the white separatist movement.
But a defense attorney in the federal court trial of Christian and Doris Nadal of North Hills contended that they were entrapped by an FBI agent and a government informant who targeted Nadal for his political views.
Both the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Atty. Gregory W. Jessner, and defense attorney Joel Levin presented closing arguments Tuesday in the Nadals’ U.S. District Court trial on charges of selling illegally manufactured machine guns and silencers.
Levin blamed the charges on Joe Allen, the FBI agent and government informant.
“Joe Allen was on a campaign to get Mr. Nadal to sell him guns,” Levin said.
The campaign included about 30 phone calls, sometimes as many as two to three times a day, asking Nadal to supply weapons, Levin said. Levin told jurors that to convict his client they would have to find that he was willing to be an illegal gun dealer before Jan. 28, 1992, when Nadal first met with government operatives.
“The government is not allowed to create a crime and then prosecute a person who previously was unwilling to do so,” Levin said.
But Jessner told jurors that Christian Nadal has no choice but to claim that he was entrapped because he was videotaped making the sales.
The prosecutor described Nadal as being eager and enthusiastic to commit the crimes to support his belief that white supremacists should unite and arm themselves.
Nadal, Jessner told the jury, said he wanted to make grenades for his grenade launcher, use atomic weapons to force minorities to leave the country and drop bombs on South-Central Los Angeles. Nadal also said that if the federal government had automatic weapons, then white separatists should also have them, the prosecutor said.
“This is the same man who said if you killed only 5,000 members of a minority group, it wouldn’t be enough,” Jessner said.
The prosecutor added that Nadal gave Allen his pager number, that the men went to gun shows together, and that Nadal repeatedly told Allen he could provide him with guns.
As for Doris Nadal, Jessner said she had driven her husband to deliver machine gun parts and therefore should be found guilty of aiding and abetting him and of conspiring to sell illegal weapons.
In his closing statements, Thomas Nishi, Doris Nadal’s lawyer, said she is being prosecuted because she is Christian Nadal’s wife, not because she committed any crimes.
“Christian Nadal has made statements that are basically outrageous,” Nishi said. “They have jeopardized Doris Nadal’s ability to get a fair trial.
“The government is asking you to be biased toward women . . . that women necessarily have the same views as their husbands,” Nishi said.
Nishi said Doris Nadal neither assisted her husband in gun sales nor negotiated gun prices during a meeting, as prosecutors have contended.
But Assistant U.S. Atty. Lawrence S. Middleton, the co-prosecutor in the case, asked jurors in his closing arguments to convict Doris Nadal on her own statements.
He played a videotape for jurors in which she advocated forming all-white groups. Those statements, which Nadal last week said she could not recall making, starkly contrasted with her self-portrayal as an average working woman and homemaker who abhorred racism and was not a white separatist, Middleton said.
Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberating today. The Nadals were arrested in July after a federal investigation into white supremacist groups in Southern California.
Christopher Berwick, an Acton machinist who had been the Nadal’s co-defendant, pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to manufacture and sell illegal weapons.