The daily beast
Former Mississippi deputy charged in bizarre plot to assassinate German farm owner
Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty When Thomas Schwarz, the owner of a struggling organic farm, failed to show up to his office in the Netherlands one morning, his colleagues were immediately alarmed.After hours of silence, a colleague said decided to go to Schwarz. in Bergen, in the Dutch province of Limburg, to watch him – and discovered the open front door and the bloodstained handle.Inside, Dutch police found a gruesome scene: Schwarz was lying dead on the ground next to his dining room table with his hands and feet tied with wire. A pool of blood surrounded his lifeless body; a laptop and a wallet full of credit cards lay on the ground nearby An autopsy report will later confirm that Schwarz, a German national and endurance athlete in his 30s, also suffered a series of deep injuries in the right leg and arm. like several back and rib injuries. The fatal blow, however, was a deep gash in the throat, according to a mine of newly unsealed court documents. ‘First war battle’: Ohio man scheduled to attend second Capitol riot following Jan.6 siege, prosecutors say prosecutors believe Schwarz’s gruesome murder on Nov. 26, 2019 was likely the consequence of an unpaid debt to a German investor – who allegedly hired a former Mississippi sheriff’s deputy and a New Jersey man to extinguish it. The staggering allegations are detailed in a series of extradition requests that have been filed in the last two weeks. The alleged mastermind of the bizarre scheme, Lukas Fecker, 51, is the owner of Innovation Brain, a company that buys companies “on the verge of bankruptcy” and tries to topple them, according to court documents. Schwarz owned Taurus Farms in North Macedonia, near the Greek border, and the company was known to be in trouble, according to the documents. [Schwarz] and Fecker had a business relationship and the victim may have owed Fecker money, ”the documents say. “Fecker is currently detained and awaiting trial in the Netherlands.” The YouTube documents also allege that Jacob Mazeika, 38, and William Lyle Johnson, 34, were involved in the scheme. The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Daily Beast that Johnson was employed by the department from May 2017 to April 2019. A 2018 audit report from the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office listed Johnson as deputy to the sheriff. The Dutch authorities have charged the two men with numerous counts of murder, manslaughter and hostage-taking, as well as attempted extortion, premeditated physical violence and many others. Mazeika’s extradition request also. He was arrested on state charges in December 2020, for allegedly breaking drug and gun possession laws. When questioning investigators, Causey said he did “protective work” for Fecker. An analysis of financial records showed a deposit of $ 5,980 by Innovation Brain in Causey’s bank account the month after Schwarz’s murder. It was not immediately clear whether he had been charged with a felony in connection with the case. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi did not immediately respond to the Daily Beast’s request for comment. Reached by phone from his home in Connecticut, Mazeika’s father William abruptly shut down all questions about his son and the criminal case against him, hanging up without further comment. Innovation Brain did not respond to requests for comment , and Fecker, who is currently detained in the Netherlands, could not be reached.About a month before his violent death, Schwarz arrived at his home some two hours outside Amsterdam to find two English-speaking people claiming money, an April 27 extradition request for the Mazeika states. When the owner of the farm said he did not have the funds, the two said a third person “who was not so friendly would come back and ask him for money.” While full details of Schwarz’s assassination plan are not immediately clear, prosecutors allege that Causey and another person checked in at the Van der Valk Hotel – about 15 miles from Schwarz’s house – on the 19th. November. Hotel security camera footage shows Causey stayed at the hotel for three days and Mazeika and Johnson joined him in November. Cell phone records also placed the two men in the area during this time. Travel records provided to Dutch investigators by German authorities show that Maleika and Johnson flew from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to Dusseldorf , Germany, November 24. made by Fecker hours before their departure, according to court documents. The documents indicate that on the morning of November 26, Schwarz’s neighbors saw a Volkswagen Polo with a German license plate pull up on a street. t near his home. Two men got out, while a third remained inside the car. A neighbor told Dutch authorities he heard Schwarz’s front door slam and people were fighting before a “loud bang” sounded from inside the house. The neighbor said he ran to Schwarz and rang the doorbell. When no one answered the door, he looked through the living room window and “saw a person hunched over, holding a sheet or a blanket, and a woman.” “A woman left the victim’s house, slammed the front door and entered the Volkswagen Polo, which quickly moved away,” the court document said. Two men, wearing hats, then entered the car. German authorities later learned that two days before the murder Causey and Fecker had rented the Volkswagen Polo in Frankfurt. On November 26, Causey returned the car without the floor mats. “Causey said he cleaned the floor mats but forgot to put them back in the car before returning it,” the court document reads. A forensic examination showed the car contained “traces of blood” which matched Schwarz’s blood samples. Mazéika and Johnson returned to the United States on November 28. Mazeika transferred money to his bank account “on three occasions between January 2019 and May 2020”. Now Dutch prosecutors are eager to extradite Mazeika and Johnson to the Netherlands where they can be held responsible for their alleged roles in the murder plot. Johnson, who was arrested by US authorities and held without bond pending his next court appearance, could not be reached. Authorities have argued against Mazeika’s release on bail as his case d ‘extradition was making its way through the system, claiming that he “ sought to cover up and cover up his conduct in the Netherlands by downplaying documentary evidence of his activity there. In their argument, prosecutors pointed out that Mazeika “had taken an indirect route to her destination, going to Germany and going to Holland”. On the way back to the United States, Mazeika took “what appears to be a deliberately roundabout route – back through Germany, then via a series of flights back to the United States via seemingly disparate countries, in especially Russia and Switzerland. ” The documents add: “There is no evidence that Mazeika was a tourist in Europe during the reporting period, and his overly complex itinerary seems more consistent with the calculated escape and cover-up of his activities in the Netherlands than innocent behavior. ” The next Mazeika court hearing is scheduled for June 23. Johnson is set to appear in court again in July. For more, check out The Daily Beast. Do you have any advice? Send it to The Daily Beast here Get our best stories delivered to your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.