Bureau agents provided and authenticated photographs to a Hancock County Indiana sheriff, for his effort to present information to a Grand Jury on a charge of “racketeering in hate,” both to expose the identity of Klansmen, and drain the County Klavern’s defense fund.138 Agents hoped to expose the involvement of “quasi respectable” County residents in Klan activity.139 In August of 1966, a representative of the office of the Maryland State Police Intelligence Unit requested assistance from the Bureau in acquiring information on anti-mask laws in other states, as well as court decisions concerning such laws. The Maryland Attorney General's office had already met with the State Police, and was interested in preparing for the introduction of such a measure in Maryland during the next legislative session. The FBI forwarded two copies of the Virginia code pertaining to the prohibition of wearing masks in public, along with information regarding similar laws and a court decision in Illinois, and Kentucky to the Baltimore SAC. FBI executives directed him to pass this information along to the State Police, but, sensitive to allegations among conservatives that federal law enforcement operations threatened to undermine States Rights, the SAC was directed to:
give no opinion as to whether such legislation would be of a benefit to the State of Maryland. . . This is strictly a local matter which should be left to the discretion and judgment of the Attorney General of the State of Maryland and the Maryland legislature. . . you may point out that there is a Federal law dealing with persons who go in disguise on a public highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent the free exercise of rights secured under the United States Constitution.
FBI executives noted that "the Bureau has primary jurisdiction in enforcing this section," but added that "Prosecutions' however, under this statute are extremely limited."
The existence of this law is brought to your attention merely for the purposes of background and information and it is not intended to be a substitute for state legislation. You are to refrain from offering any opinion that because there is such a Federal law that state legislation is unnecessary.140 Agents also assured that relatively minor or non-Klan related transgressions, such as speeding, illegal posting, zoning violations, failure to acquire building permits, alligator poaching, check forgery, and insurance fraud, were brought to the attention of local authorities.141 New Orleans-based agents would alert law enforcement authorities about "any unlawful operation of business or conduct" by Klan members.142 Florida agents used notional communications to alert the State Beverage Department that a Klansman was serving alcohol to minors and complain to District Health officials about "unsanitary conditions" at Klan-operated and frequented business establishments, causing Klansmen to finger each other as informants.143 They alerted a Probation officer, preventing one of his assignees from joining the Klan.144 To discredit North Carolina Grand Dragon J. R. Jones as a bigamist, FBI investigators facilitated a State indictment on perjury charges, related to divorce papers he had filed back in 1951. Although a grand Jury refused to indict, negative publicity resulted in a membership resignations and animosity between Jones and other state officers.145