6 July 1997: Link to on-line docket of United States v. Jim Bell

23 May 1997
Source: Fax from ABC-Legal Messengers, Tacoma WA 1-253-383-1791,
as referred by Ms. Kelly Miller, Clerk, U.S. District Court,
Western District of Washington at Tacoma 1-253-593-6754

Filed May 16 1997
Clerk U.S. District Court
Western District of Washington at Tacoma
By Deputy

Judge Arnold



) CASE NO. 97-5048M




JAMES DALTON BELL ) 26 U.S.C. Section 7212(a)
) 42 U.S.C. Section 408(a)


_____________________________________ )

BEFORE, J. Kelley Arnold, United States Magistrate Judge,
Union Station Courthouse, 1717 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington


     Beginning at a time unknown, and continuing to the present, at Vancouver, within the Western District of Washington and elsewhere, JAMES DALTON BELL did corruptly obstruct and impede and endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws, among other things, by collecting the names and home addresses of agents and employees of the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") in order to intimidate them in the performance of their official functions; by soliciting others to join in a scheme known as "Assassination Politics" whereby those who killed IRS employees would be rewarded; by using social security account numbers that were not assigned to him to hide his assets and thereby impede the IRS's ability to collect his unpaid taxes; and by contaminating the area outside of the office of the IRS in Vancouver, Washington, with mercaptan, a chemical that


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

causes a powerful odor.

     All in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7212(a).


     Beginning at a time unknown, and continuing to the present, at Vancouver, within the Western District of Washington and elsewhere, JAMES DALTON BELL, with intent to deceive, falsely represented social security account number 501-60-5165 to be the social security account number assigned to him by the Commissioner of Social Security, when he then and there knew that such number was not so assigned to him.

     All in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B). The undersigned complainant being duly sworn states:

     1. I am an Inspector with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), United States Department of the Treasury. I am currently assigned to the IRS Internal Security Division. I have been so employed for ten years. During such employment I have investigated numerous cases involving criminal threats to kill, injure, obstruct, impede, threaten and intimidate IRS employees, as well as cases involving the destruction of Government property. I am familiar with an investigation of James Dalton Bell for violations of Title 26, United States Code, 7212(a), involving obstruction of employees and officers of the United States Government on account of the performance of their official duties, and Title 42, United States Code, Section 408, involving the use of false social security numbers.

   2. The facts alleged in this complaint are based on my personal knowledge as well as what I have learned from others during the course of this investigation. Among other things, I am familiar with IRS records regarding Bell, interviews with Bell's associates conducted as part of the investigation, and items posted to the Internet by Bell. On April 1, 1997, a search warrant was executed on Bell's residence in Vancouver, Washington. I am familiar with the evidence seized during this search. I am also familiar with tapes and documents seized by the Portland Police Bureau during a search warrant executed on April 1, 1997, at the residence of Richard Lancial, an associate of Bell and, like Bell, a participant in the "Multnomah County Common Law Court," a self-appointed group which purports to hold "trials" of Government


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

employees for the performance of their official duties.

     3. Among the items seized from Bell's residence were electronic mail messages between Bell and others. Some of these messages discussed "Operation LocatIRS", a plan by Bell to locate the names and home addresses of Oregon IRS employees. Numerous files that were seized from Bell's computer were found to contain the names and home address [sic] of IRS employees, FBI agents, ATF agents, and local police officers. I believe that Bell was collecting this information as part of his ongoing plan to threaten, assault, and intimidate federal agents, particularly IRS agents, thereby obstructing the lawful activities of the IRS and other federal agencies. Based on this investigation, I know that Bell has had a long-running dispute with the IRS concerning his obligation to pay taxes. On February 20, 1997, the IRS executed a civil seizure warrant for Bell's car for unpaid back taxes, and gave Bell audit adjustment notices proposing to assess him additional taxes. In the following days, the IRS also delivered levies on Bell's wages and bank accounts.

     4. During the course of the investigation, I have learned that Bell was associated with the Multnomah County Common Law Court (MCCLC). Tape recordings of MCCLC meetings were seized by the Portland Police during their search of Richard Lancial's residence. At an October 23, 1996, meeting, Bell stated: "I started a project, which is just informal until now, to basically locate the names and home addresses of all the IRS agents in the area." In Bell's residence and on his computer, agents discovered additional evidence that Bell solicited and received the names of IRS agents and then attempted to locate their home addresses.

     5. During the course of the investigation, I have learned that Bell is the author of "Assassination Politics," an essay that describes and advocates the development and use of a system to reward people who kill selected Government employees. "Assassination Politics" proposes the creation of an electronic encryption system and the use of electronic "digital" cash on the Internet to put this plan into practice. Bell specifically mentioned Tax Collectors as part of his plan. Copies of the Assassination Politics plan were found in numerous locations on Bell's computer, on publicly available portions of the Internet, and in Bell's


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

vehicle. In some of the hundreds of documents Bell wrote about the plan, Bell indicated that if enough IRS agents were killed, many others would resign and the entire Government would collapse, which was his goal. IRS agents interviewed Bell on April 1, 1997, and Bell acknowledged that he wrote the essay and publicized it on the Internet.

     6. BeIl's computer also contained documents relating to a plan to sabotage computer and electronic equipment. These documents, apparently written by Bell, discussed introducing small particles of nickel-plated carbon fiber, which Bell named "silent dust," into an environment containing computers and other electronic equipment, in an effort to cause the fiber to float into the computer case and short out the circuit board, thus destroying the equipment. Bell's computer contained an electronic mail message from Bell to another person dated June 14, 1996, in which Bell states "Perhaps my most ambitious project (other than, arguably, 'Assassination Politics') is to develop a product which can destroy the ability of people to operate computers and electronics in a building that has been suitably treated. The product is ready for final testing."

     7. Bell's computer also contained an electronic mail message between James Bell and Robert East dated January 22, 1996, that discussed carbon fibers. Although it was not always clear which parts of the document were written by Bell and which were written by East, the document was sent by Bell to East's electronic mail address. The document contained a proposal to test and to market carbon fibers for use in destroying computers, fax machines, copiers, and other electronic equipment. The document proposed building a test chamber and testing the fiber on a computer, TV and/or VCR. It states: "Now, once it has been demonstrated to work in 'The Real World' we can legitimately market it to various nefarious individuals. Then, maybe with the dropping of a rather large hint, at least one of them will pick a very large vulnerable target like the IRS or some very large corporation." The document discusses marketing the fiber, and forcing the Government to either buy back the fiber to prevent further attacks, or that the Government would make the fiber illegal. The document states: "Then, Jim, then and only then would your stockpile of this fiber be worth a bundle. It'd be like drugs are right now."


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

     8. Among the documents seized at Bell's residence during the search was an invoice dated July 15, 1994, from Inco Limited to Bell, for the purchase of 1 kilogram of nickel-coated carbon fiber. The attached safety data sheet states: "This material is electrically conductive. User-generated airborne fibers can short circuit electrical equipment."

     9. Among the documents on Bell's computer was a message dated February 9, 1996, from East to Bell in which East discussed Bell's purchase of 250 pounds of nickel-coated carbon fiber. A message dated February 2, 1996, between Bell and another individual discussed "metal coated carbon fiber." In this message, Bell stated that the Government may have been alerted to the "potential danger" and said, "I'll feel a lot better when 1 get a few hundred pounds of this stuff buried."

     10. On May 15, 1997, a search warrant was executed at Robert East's residence. Among the items discovered was a bundle of what appeared to be nickel-coated carbon fiber, approximately three feet long and 1/2 inch in diameter.

     11. Bell's computer also contained a message dated February 15, 1997, in which East told Bell that he found out that Ricin was water soluble. East also stated: ".. I believe it might be worth looking for a source of castor beans for some experiments. I'm sure that a nefarious soul could find a buyer for some of that nasty stuff." East further stated that he was going to give Bell a magazine article about "biological terrorism" which discusses the contamination of an island with Anthrax. East told Bell that the article is on the arm of a love seat (apparently in East's residence), and that Bell should read it when he goes over to retrieve a computer case. In another message from East to Bell, dated March 7, 1997, East stated: "..why don't you see what you can find on ricin? I'm really curious about how to extract that toxin." I am aware that Ricin is an extremely dangerous poison which can be made from beans and can be fatal in very small amounts.

     12. One of the items found in the search of Bell's residence was a photocopy of a 1994 magazine article titled The Toxins of Cyanobacteria. The article states in part: "These poisons, which periodically and fatally contaminate the water supplies of wild and domestic animals, can also harm humans."


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

     13. A computer disk containing a 169 page document entitled, "The Terrorists Handbook," was also among the items found in the search of Bell's residence. The document contained detailed instructions on making and using explosives, chemical weapons, detonators, and timers. Containers with the names of some of the chemicals discussed in the document were found in Bell's residence.

     14. On April 17th and April 18th, 1997, IRS agents interviewed Greg Daly, a friend of both Bell and East. In the first interview, Daly stated that he had discussions with Bell about using nickel-coated carbon fiber to attack computer systems. Daly also said that he was employed by the City of Portland, Oregon, and that he works in the 911 emergency center. Daly stated that he and Bell had "laughed" about attacking the 911 center with the fiber, and that this discussion took place in the parking lot of the center. Daly also said that Bell told him he had purchased some of the fiber.

     15. Daly also told the agents that he and Bell had "hypothetical" discussions about contaminating water supplies. He and Bell had discussed making the botulism toxin from green beans, as well as other ways of obtaining various toxins. Daly also said that, as part of his job with the City of Portland, he has keys and direct access to the Portland Bull Run water treatment facility. When Daly was re-interviewed on April 18, 1997, he said that, in the late 1980's, he had seen in Bell's closet an experiment in which Bell tried to make botulism toxin from green beans.

     16. During his initial interview, Daly said that a few years ago Bell had discussed with him how easy it would be to make Sarin gas, and showed him a chemical catalog where the chemicals needed could be purchased. When he was re-interviewed, Daly said Bell had told him that he was going to purchase the chemicals required to make Sarin. Daly admitted that after the search warrant was executed on Bell's residence on April 1, 1997, he (Daly) had told another individual that Bell had Sarin gas in his residence that had been missed during the search warrant. When Daly was asked why he had stated to others that Bell still had Sarin gas in his possession, Daly stated that Bell had made general statements to him that less dangerous chemicals had been seized while more dangerous ones had been left. Daly said, however, that


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

Bell had not specifically told him anything about still having Sarin gas.

     17. EPA Scientist Bruce Woods has informed investigators that Sarin gas is an extremely toxic nerve agent which has been used in the past in terrorist attacks. Woods also said that Diisopropyl Fluorophosphate, which one of the chemicals found in Bell's residence was labeled, is also a toxic nerve agent, and potentially could be used as a precursor chemical to make a gas similar to Sarin. The search of Bell's residence also turned up a variety of other dangerous or deadly chemicals. Among the other dangerous chemicals discovered in the search of Bell's residence were chemicals labeled Cyanide and Phosphorus Tribromide. During a review of Bell's computers, agents found several documents discussing Sarin gas and how it is made.

     18. Daly also said that he had made and used explosive devices by mixing fertilizer with model airplane fuel, and that he had a legal permit to do so. During the second interview with Daly, he stated that Bell may have been present when he had set off one of the explosive devices. During his interviews, Daly said that he, Bell, and East often had "hypothetical" discussions regarding various destructive activities.

     19. On May 15, 1997, agents interviewed Robert East. East acknowledged discussing with Bell the use of nickel-coated carbon fibers to "kill" computers and to exchanging electronic mail messages with Bell discussing testing and marketing nickel carbon fiber for use in destroying electronic equipment. East said that Bell had discussed the possibility of putting the fibers down the air vents of a Federal building, and about using the fiber against the IRS. East admitted that Bell had given him some of the fiber, which he (East) had in his residence. East further acknowledged that he and Bell discussed making Sarin gas. East said that about a year ago, Bell told him that he (Bell) had a few milligrams of a Sarin precursor chemical, methyl phosphonal dichloride. A few years ago, according to East, Bell stated that he had the precursor chemical and had made Sarin.

     20. On May 1, 1997, investigators interviewed Michael Boyd, a long time friend of Bell. According to Boyd, Bell told him about an incident in the early 1980s in which Bell was mad at an attorney, and had inserted a chemical through the door jamb of the attorney's office


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

which caused a stench. Documents on Bell's computer also describe this incident. Bell boasted about using the chemical mercaptan in a 1984 attack on the office of an attorney who had filed a lawsuit against him, and, in discussing this incident, stated: "The first thing to remember is: Never make a chemist angry at you." I know from the investigation that Bell has a degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

     21. Michael Boyd also said that approximately six months ago, Bell told him that "something big" was going to happen. Boyd stated that he did not ask Bell for specifics because he did not want to know what it was. In the past, Bell had boasted to him that he (Bell) could make bombs from items purchased at a grocery store, and Boyd said that he was aware that Bell and Daly had experimented with both fertilizer and pipe bombs. Boyd said that he was also generally aware of Bell's idea about destroying computers using carbon fibers.

     22. In a document dated June 7, 1994, which was found on Bell's computer, Bell boasted that, about a year and a half earlier, he had broken into a gymnasium of a local college prior to a speech by former Cabinet Secretary William Bennett. Bell stated that he sprayed the area with a gallon of synthetic hemp-odor chemical "in an act of odorous rebellion." Other documents on the computer indicate that Bell manufactured the chemical himself.

     23. In the course of the investigation, agents have obtained two purchases orders from Aldrich Chemical Company relating to 1994 and 1996 orders placed by "Helio/Kromagen". Based on the investigation and review of items seized in Bell's residence, I know that Helio/Kromagen is a name used by Bell to order chemicals. The orders were for the chemical Propanethiol, and the last order was placed on August 20, 1996. Aldrich Chemical Company advised investigators that neither of the orders was ever filled. According to the report of a DEA chemist, Propanethiol has quite limited use, and its prime characteristic is a horrible stench.

     24. I am familiar with an incident that took place at the IRS office in Vancouver, Washington, in March of 1997. On March 16, 1997, a Sunday, an IRS employee noted a


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

strong odor in the Federal building. On March 17, 1997, several IRS employees had to be placed on leave due to the odor, and another employee reported other ill effects. The odor was traced to a mat and carpeting just inside a second floor outside access door of the Federal building, just outside the IRS office entrance. A chemical analysis of the mat was conducted. This analysis was reviewed by Bruce Woods, a scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Woods explained that "mercaptan" is a generic name that includes the chemicals found on the mat and would cause an odor like that found at the IRS office. As noted in paragraph 20 above, Bell has boasted to using mercaptan in the past. In the search of Bell's residence, no chemical known to be related to mercaptan was located.

     25. I have learned that during his interview with investigators, Robert East stated that Bell told him a few days earlier that he had already "gotten even" with the IRS, although Bell would not say specifically what he had done until the statute of limitations expired. Based on Bell's admitted past use of mercaptan, his boasting to East, and the fact that the incident occurred shortly after the IRS executed a civil seizure of Bell's car for unpaid back taxes, I believe that Bell is responsible for the chemical contamination at the IRS office in Vancouver.

     26. Investigators have obtained records of Bell's current employer, Controltek, including Bell's application for employment, dated October 30, 1996, and Bell's Form W4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, dated November 22, 1996. On both of these documents, Bell listed his Social Security Number (SSN) as 501-60-5165, a number that is not in fact assigned to him.

     27. During the course of this investigation, investigators have reviewed numerous IRS documents relating to Bell, including IRS computer records and original tax returns signed by Bell. Based on this review, I know that Bell's Social Security Number is ***-**-**** [original omitted here], not the Social Security Number on the employment documents obtained from Bell's employer. A Social Security Card in the name James Dalton Bell with the number ***-**-**** [original omitted here], was seized during the search of Bell's residence.

     28. Documents seized from Bell's residence also show that in addition to the false SSN submitted by Bell to his employer, Bell has used three other false SSNs. Investigators have


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

obtained a 1984 account application from the investment company Charles Schwab in which Bell used the SSN 410-76-4612, as well as a 1984 IRS Form W-9, Payers Request for Taxpayer Identification Number, in which Bell listed the same number. This same SSN was also found on documents seized from Bell's residence, including a 1986 Form 1099, Statement for Recipients of Interest Income issued by Charles Schwab, a 1990 Notice of Backup Withholding, a 1993 Form 1099 from Mellon Securities Trust Company, a 1994 statement from The Singapore Fund Inc, a 1995 Form 1099 from Mellon Securities Trust Company, a 1995 Form 1099 from The Singapore Fund Inc, numerous 1995 Charles Schwab account statements, a 1995 Form 1099 from The First Philippine Fund, Inc., a 1996 Statement in Lieu of a 1099 from The First Philippine Fund, Inc., a 1996 Form 1099 from Chasemellon Shareholder Services, and an undated Substitute Form W-9 from Templeton Emerging Market Common.

     29. Also seized in Bell's residence were two documents that show Bell using the SSN 621-33-7591, including a 1984 Form 1099 and a 1985 Substitute IRS Form 1099, from American Transtech. There was also a 1993 Substitute Form 1099 from SCECORP, an uncashed check dated January 31, 1994, from SCECORP, a statement dated January 31, 1995, from SCECORP, an uncashed check dated April 30, 1996, from Edison International, an uncashed check dated July 31, 1996, from Edison International, and a 1996 Form 1099 from Edison International, all of which listed Bell's SSN as 497-62-4238. Among the seized documents are several that were sent to Bell notifying him that the identification number he was using was incorrect.

     30. On April 14, 1997, Special Agent Gordon Meyer cf the Social Security Administration advised investigators that he had checked the records of the Social Security Administration, and that SSN ***-**-**** [original omitted here] was the correct SSN for Bell. Meyer said that SSNs 497-62-4238, 410-76-4612, and 501-60-5165 were assigned to other individuals, and that SSN 621-33-7591 had not been issued.

     31. Based on IRS records and the investigation of this case, I know that Bell has not filed all of the federal tax returns that he is required to file, and that he has a large outstanding


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

unpaid balance owing to the IRS. I am also aware that at one point the IRS placed Bell's collection account in "uncollectable" status because they were unable locate Bell's assets. Based on my training and experience, I believe that had Bell used his correct SSN on his investment accounts and with his employer, the IRS would have been able to locate his financial assets and wages for seizure, and would have been better able to determine and assess the correct amount of tax he owed. I believe that Bell's use of false SSNs has directly affected and impeded the IRS' ability to enforce the tax laws.

     32. I have learned that numerous documents and articles relating to neutralizing the investigative techniques of law enforcement were found on Bell's computer. These documents included discussions of wiretapping, electronic mail interception, computer encryption techniques, surveillance, thermal imaging, detection dogs and a variety of other subjects. In one of the documents Bell states that his "specialty" is to follow various law enforcement technologies and to "invent simple techniques to subvert and neutralize them."

     33. During the search of Bell's residence, four firearms were discovered, including three semi-automatic "assault" type rifles and a .44 magnum handgun.

     34. Based on the above information, I believe that James Bell has been engaged in a longstanding and well-thought out plan to obstruct the operations of the IRS, and that this is part of an overall strategy to overthrow the Government of the United States. Bell's illegal obstruction of the IRS dates back to at least 1984, when he is known to have begun using false SSNs in order to hide his assets from the IRS. Bell has spelled out parts of his overall plan in his Assassination Politics essay, which he has attempted to disseminate and to implement in conjunction with the illegal activities of the common law court. Bell has taken overt steps to implement his overall plan by devising, obtaining, and testing the materials needed to carry out attacks against the United States, including chemicals, nerve agents, destructive carbon fibers, firearms, and explosives. Bell has actually carried out chemical attacks using the chemical mercaptan and other chemicals he has devised, which I believe may be part of a "trial run" for more deadly chemical attacks. Bell has also made a determined effort to acquire a potential "hit list" of IRS and other law enforcement employees and their home


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

addresses, and he has also acquired and practiced with lock picking devices to allow him to illegally gain entry to targeted locations.


PHILLIP SCOTT, Complainant Inspector,
Internal Revenue Service

Complaint and affidavit sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence, May 16, 1997.


United States Magistrate Judge


United States Attorney, Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building, 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600, Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 553-7970

[End complaint]

See related search warrants: http://www.parrhesia.com/jimbell/

See "Assassination Politics."  [102K]

See news reports of Jim Bell's arrest and earlier searches.

See comments on use of carbon fibers to disable electronic devices.