IMAGE: Bad Axe house

A rural Michigan community is shocked after the FBI was in their neck of the woods.

"I'm shocked,” Kurt Eugster said. “This is a pretty small close-knit community."

Eugster lives just down the street from Justen Watkins.

Thursday law enforcement was at Watkin's home in rural Huron County just northeast of Bad Axe. He's facing felony charges for allegedly being part of a violent white supremacist group that investigators say terrorized a family in southeast Michigan in December.

We broke the news of Watkin's arrest to Eugster.

“They kept to themselves as far as I know,” he said. “I didn't hardly know them. I've been here for or five years. And they never come around like a lot of the other neighbors, but they've never caused any trouble that I’m aware of."

Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said deputies had been out to Watkin's home twice this year for civil complaints.

"It's completely unrelated to any of that,” Hanson said. “And our interaction with the residents out there on Sullivan Road there, they were cooperative with us."

As for Eugster, he doesn't want the public to pass judgment on his neighborhood based on the alleged actions of a single person.

"Don't judge our community by one individual,” he said. I assure you there's no white supremacist groups that I’m aware of."

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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