Snipes' company may buy property
Actor's Amen-Ra films is interested in Putnam land
adjacent to Nuwaubians
The Macon Telegraph, May 11, 2000
By Rob Peecher
EATONTON - A security guard group affiliated with
action-adventure actor Wesley Snipes is interested in buying
land in Putnam County to build a training facility.
The 257 acres adjoins the 476-acre village owned by the
United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors on Shady Dale Road west of
Snipes' production company, Amen-Ra films, owns The Royal
Guard of Amen-Ra, the company planning to purchase the
acreage, according to Snipes spokeswoman Justine Hah.
Hah, however, denies any connection between Snipes and the
But a Nuwaubian representative said Thursday that Snipes is
one of many "millionaire Nuwaubians" planning to purchase
property in Putnam County.
Al Woodall, an agent for the nine Nuwaubians who own the
476-acre village, said millionaire Nuwaubians are not only
buying the 257 acres at 290 Shady Dale Road but also the
village at 404 Shady Dale Road.
"(Snipes) is actually an avid Nuwaubian, at that," Woodall
said. "What I'm hearing is there are a few Nuwaubian
millionaires from the music industry, the movie industry,
business, finance, different aspects - but they're all
millionaires, including (Nuwaubian leader) Malachi York. And
from what I'm hearing, (they) are planning on buying the
property in Putnam County, including the 404 Shady Dale
But Hah said Thursday she had never heard of the Nuwaubians.
"I don't even know how you spell that," she said. "Wesley is
not affiliated with that group on any level, even remotely."
Hah also said it is "pure coincidence" that The Royal Guard
of Amen-Ra, which bills itself on the Internet as "an
international, multi-level security and protection company,"
is looking at a piece of property that adjoins the Nuwaubian
Hah refused to provide details about The Royal Guard of
Amen-Ra, but she did confirm the group intends to build a
training facility for private security guards.
The Royal Guard of Amen-Ra's posting on the Internet site "cooljobs.com"
seeks 200 people for "an elite team of highly trained men
and women who will provide the following services:
International and domestic risk management; intelligence and
protective operations; V.I.P./executive protection to
dignitaries and celebrities; special event security;
counter-surveillance and counter terrorist measures."
A representative of The Royal Guard of Amen-Ra used the
257-acre property's address - 290 Shady Dale Road - in
December to file an application for a permit with the
federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the
"purchase, movement, travel and storage of various weapons
and ammunition nationwide to provide security, security
guard and firearms training services."
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said Wesley Rudy Snipes,
who identified himself as Wesley Snipes' brother and a
representative of The Royal Guard, came to his office in
early November to talk to him about the group's plans for
Rudy Snipes is listed as the CEO of The Royal Guard on its
incorporation papers with the Georgia Secretary of State's
office. He compared the proposed training center to the
state Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Sills said.
"I had heard rumors about it, but I hadn't heard anything
lately until yesterday, when I got a call from an inspector
with the BATF," Sills said Tuesday. "He was following up on
the application for a federal firearms dealer license that
The Royal Guard of Amen-Ra, Inc., had applied for back in
Rudy Snipes signed the BATF application. The permit is
pending, according to Sills.
In a letter Tuesday responding to the BATF investigator,
Sills noted inaccuracies on The Royal Guard application:
Snipes certified that he had provided Sills with a copy of
the BATF application, which Sills said he had not.
Snipes stated that the property identified as 290 Shady Dale
Road is owned by The Royal Guard of Amen-Ra, but deeds
indicate that S.M. Bishop Co., Inc., owns the property.
Snipes stated that The Royal Guard has obtained a business
license to operate in Putnam County, but the county has not
granted the company a license, according to Sills.
Snipes stated that the business has complied with state and
local laws, but does not take into account that the property
is zoned for agricultural purposes and "a for-profit
security company and firearms dealer is certainly not an
agricultural business," according to Sills. The property
will have to be rezoned for commercial activity.
Atlanta developer Stan Bishop, who owns the 257 acres, said
The Royal Guard approached him last year about possibly
purchasing his property, but no deal has been struck.
Bishop has owned the acreage about two years. The Putnam
County Tax Assessor's office values the property at
$446,963. Bishop's parents live in one of two houses on the
property, and Bishop hunts and fishes there.
Bishop discounted any link between The Royal Guard and the
Nuwaubians and said he believes it's the Nuwaubians who are
claiming a connection with Snipes.
"(The Royal Guard) approached a real estate agent that I
know. They had no idea where this piece of property was,"
Bishop said. "We took them and showed them the property ...
and they liked it. I think all this connection between them
is a bunch of trumped up crap."
The Nuwaubians, a group of followers of Malachi York, moved
to Putnam County in 1993. About 150 Nuwaubians live in the
village and hundreds more live in surrounding communities of
Athens, Eatonton, Sparta and Milledgeville.
The group has built pyramids and other Egyptian-type
structures on a portion of the 476 acres. About 30 acres is
zoned residential. The remainder is zoned for agriculture.
But about three years ago, the group began to have problems
with county officials about zoning violations. For more than
a year, the Nuwaubians and the County Commission have been
involved in ongoing court battles about county zoning and
building code violations.
The ongoing legal struggle with the county has prompted
Snipes, Stevie Wonder and York to begin buying property in
Putnam County, according to Woodall.
"These millionaires, Nuwaubian millionaires, are actually
tired of what they've been reading, seeing and hearing about
the ongoing battle in Putnam County with the officials,"
Woodall said. " ... So they're coming in with money, ready
to go to court with the best lawyers, or whatever it takes
to bring about justice," Woodall said.