“Colonel” Steve Anderson, a former member of the Kentucky State Militia kicked out of the group for his operation of a shortwave pirate radio station advocating white supremacy, was arrested yesterday in the mountains of North Carolina. According to the story in the link above, it’s implied that Anderson had a license for his radio station but got it revoked by the FCC. This is incorrect. Anderson once held an amateur radio license which was revoked by the FCC, but he never had any permission to operate on the shortwave broadcast bands.
Anderson used to run “Kentucky State Militia Radio (KSMR)” out of his rural home, running 300 watts of power on two shortwave frequencies. His openly racist rhetoric and the fact that he named the station after the state militia alarmed the militia’s commanding officers, who kicked him out of the group and publicly disowned him in 2001.
Last October, Anderson was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy for a busted tail light on his pickup truck. He reportedly opened fire on the cop with an automatic weapon, hitting the cruiser more than two dozen times but missing its occupants. After ditching his truck Anderson fled into the hills and all but disappeared. Police found lots of weapons and explosives in the abandoned truck and on Anderson’s property in Pulaski County.
The FOX television show America’s Most Wanted picked up Anderson’s story – and after a second airing of his segment about a month ago, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms received a tip about his location. They caught up with the “Colonel” yesterday and arrested him without incident.
KSMR was unique among radio pirates because it was a clandestine station – defined as existing to broadcast messages of political opposition against a government – located in the United States and directed toward U.S. citizens. Typically, most clandestine stations operate outside the country they target.
The problem was, Anderson used his platform to advocate hatred, in the process tainting the reputation of both pirate broadcasters and the larger militia movement. I think it’s safe to say many folks are breathing a sigh of relief now that he’s out of circulation.