Photo courtesy Save Hickory Ground

Poarch Band Accuses Muscogee Creek Man of Terrorist Threat to Burn Casino

Gale Courey Toensing

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has now publicly accused Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen Wayland Gray of threatening to burn down the band’s casino at Hickory Ground in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Gray was arrested Friday, February 15 by Poarch Band police with three other men as they tried to access the sacred Hickory Ground site to pray for the Muscogee ancestors buried there. The men oppose the Poarch Band’s development of the Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino on the site and particularly Poarch’s excavation of at least 57 sets of human remains of Muscogee ancestors. All four men were charged with trespassing; three of them were released later on Friday, but Gray was additionally charged with making a “terrorist threat” and detained. As of Monday, February 18, he remains in the Elmore Country Jail in Wetumpka.

In an interview with Indian Country Today Media Network on Sunday, February 17, Gray said the Poarch Band had trumped up the charge against him. “When I was getting into the [police] car I told them that one day we will be back and we’ll be able to honor our ancestors when this place [the casino] is torn down.” He challenged Poarch to release a video of his arrest, which he said would exonerate him of the charge. The full story including ICTMN’s exclusive interview with Gray is available here.

Until late Sunday, Poarch had not revealed what the alleged terrorist threat was. Late Sunday night, Poarch responded to an email from ICTMN asking what the terrorist threat was and whether Poarch would release the video. Poarch spokeswoman Sharon Delmar said in an email, “To answer your… questions below: Mr. Gray threatened to burn down the casino. At this time the video that we have is not being released as it is evidence in an ongoing investigation.”

Gray could not be reached in jail on Monday for additional comments.

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Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
Shameful is all I can say about these Poarch Creek officials. Mr. Grey's attorney needs to file a request for a copy of that tape. Chaos, chaos, chaos is all I see in so many places that have these casinoes. Suspecion, scandals, imbezzlement, fraud, criminal elements moving into those areas that have these cursed places. This is NOT what our people are about. This is just more of the evil spirits from some the washichus who are evil, dwelling in some of our people. Greed! It's an evil that wrecks whole nations, communities & people far & wide. It knows no race, religion or gender, but once it invades your life nothing good ever comes of it. Shame on a people who dig up their ancestors all in the name of money!

Eli Grayson's picture
Eli Grayson
Submitted by Eli Grayson on
its strange how these liars can accuse anybody of anything when their federal recognition was based on out right fraud and lies...the folks of Alabama have been a made a fool of by believing their fellow white citizens were actually Indian and hiding in caves for the last 150 years...the deception goes all the way to the top...former heads of the BIA that ignored the necessary historic documentation needed to prove they were a active tribal government since 1815...what a bunch of baloney...

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
Thrump up charges lies by the police who are there to protect and serve their people. The old south has risen, will the police go out now and start burning crosses on lawns at night of those who believe justice has gone astray. My ancestors could be some of those buried on the sacride ground. The police should be prosecuted as criminals should be. FREE Mr. Grey go find another scrap goat. Have the police of Alabama ever heard of FREE SPEACH.'s picture
Submitted by adolphusbailey@... on
The Poarch Indian have reached a new low in law enforcement thrumping up false charges againt another Indian to satisfy the white society behind funding the casino expanion. The old south has risen what is next, the police will be going out at night burning crosses on lawns of people who believe the casino is wrong building on sacred ground. Where is the support of AIM or give us a leader in this fight someone who understans the white law of Alabama, where are you Rev. Jesse Jackson a man of charactor who knows how to fight southern bigotry.