A white supremacist wanted in Florida for the murder of a black Operation Desert Storm veteran was traveling with a "small arsenal" in his car when he was arrested, police said Wednesday. When police searched the car of George David Loeb and his wife, Barbara, on Tuesday they found two smoke bombs, a .22-caliber rifle with a scope and extra magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun and about "a thousand rounds of assorted ammunition," said Capt. Charles Mittelstaedt, chief of detectives for the town of Poughkeepsie police.
"I'm sure if this individual could have reached his vehicle we could well have had tragic results out there," Mittelstaedt said.
Loeb, 34, was arraigned late Wednesday morning in Dutchess County Court on charges of being a fugitive from justice.
Loeb is due to return to court on Monday and will be represented by a public defender.
Barbara Loeb was carrying a loaded, .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun, two spare magazines and 19 bullets in her purse, police said.
Loeb and his wife were arrested on Tuesday after the pair had shoplifted $3.35 worth of turkey breast from a grocery store and assaulted a security guard, police said.
A routine computer check revealed that Loeb was wanted in the murder of Petty Officer 3rd Class Harold J. Mansfield, who served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga during the Persian Gulf war.
Mansfield, 22, who returned home from the gulf in late March, was shot once during a racially charged argument in a supermarket parking lot in the Jacksonville, Fla., suburb of Neptune Beach, police said.
Mansfield was shot with the same type of weapon found in Barbara Loeb's purse. It was not immediately known whether that gun was used to kill the sailor, police said.
Barbara Loeb also was arraigned Wednesday and was being held on $20,000 bond on charges of possession of a deadly weapon.
He will have an extradition hearing next week and likely be extradited soon thereafter, Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said.
During an interview last November, Loeb said he was one of the local leaders of the Church of the Creator, a white supremacist organization based in Otto, N.C.