(Reuters) - A U.S. white supremacist was charged on Monday with terrorizing residents of the small North Dakota town where he had sought to create a white enclave, authorities said.
Craig Cobb was arrested on Saturday along with Kynan Dutton over accusations they were brandishing firearms and sticks and threatening residents in the town of Leith, said Todd Schwarz, assistant state's attorney for Grant County.
"The people of Leith have put up with more than enough and Mr. Cobb has crossed the line," Schwarz said. "In a very short period of time it escalated beyond things that would be protected by free speech."
Cobb and Dutton were charged with seven counts each of terrorizing, Schwarz said. Five counts involve firearms, which carry a minimum two years in prison without parole if convicted, and two others involved canes or sticks, he said.
Schwarz said Cobb and Dutton were carrying long weapons, a shotgun and another long gun in the incidents on Saturday. They have been held since their arrest by the Grant County sheriff's office, and authorities want them held without bond, he said.
The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center said in August that Cobb had for months been buying properties in Leith, a town of about 20 residents 75 miles southwest of Bismarck, and had signed over deeds to a church entity.
The acquisition of about a dozen parcels could swing the control of local government.
(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Andrew Hay)