White supremacist Cobb denied request to transfer probation to Missouri
By Mike Nowatzki
Forum News Service
BISMARCK – The state of Missouri has refused to supervise the probation of a white supremacist convicted of terrorizing and menacing residents in the small North Dakota town he tried unsuccessfully to turn into an all-white enclave.
Craig Cobb was sentenced April 30 to four years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to one charge of felony terrorizing and five counts of misdemeanor menacing stemming from November incidents in the city of Leith.
He filed a request May 1 to serve his probation in Missouri through the interstate compact process. Cobb said at his sentencing hearing that he wanted to move to Missouri so he could take care of his elderly mother.
The Missouri Department of Corrections had 45 days to decide on Cobb’s request, and on Thursday the North Dakota Department of Corrections received notice that Missouri had denied Cobb’s request, spokesman Tim Tausend said.
“They said basically Mr. Cobb had little to no contact with his mother over the past 40 years,” he said.
Tausend said he didn’t know if the 62-year-old Cobb, who is living in Bismarck, had filed a probation transfer request with any other state.
“At this point, we’re just going to continue his supervision,” he said.
Cobb’s probation officer has investigated allegations that Cobb’s postings on the Internet may have violated the terms of his probation, which prohibit him from contacting his victims by any means, but no violations have been found, Tausend said.
Leith Mayor Ryan Schock, who wanted Cobb to serve prison time for his crimes in Leith, said Monday he wasn’t surprised that Missouri refused to take Cobb.
“I never had a good feeling about it from the beginning,” he said of the plea agreement that let Cobb off with probation.
Schock said he doesn’t think Cobb’s continued presence in North Dakota will affect Leith residents’ ability to put the ordeal behind them or put a damper on Leith’s 105th birthday celebration July 19-20.
The event also will celebrate the end what the city’s media relations representative, Gregory Bruce, recently called “the last nine months of terror that have ravaged the citizens of Leith” because of the actions of Cobb and his associate, Kynan Dutton, who pleaded guilty in January to misdemeanor menacing and disorderly conduct and received two years of supervised probation.
The National Geographic channel also will air a special at 7 p.m. July 2 about the recent events in Leith as part of its “American Fringe” series.
The description of the episode on National Geographic’s website states: “In the small town of Leith, N.D., a peaceful community is turned upside down when notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb arrives to claim domain of Leith and provide sanctuary for what he hopes will be an influx of like-minded white supremacists. With land in Leith being abundant and cheap, Cobb has already bought 12 plots, and Nazis have begun to arrive. Tensions rise when its residents, refusing to stand idly by, go on the offensive against Cobb's Nazi incursion.”