A 21-year-old Arizona neo-Nazi was sentenced to 16 months in prison on Wednesday for his half in a plot to terrorize black and Jewish journalists, federal prosecutors mentioned.
Johnny Roman Garza — a member of the violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division — admitted in September that he conspired with three others to determine and threaten reporters whose work uncovered anti-Semitism.
“Whereas this defendant didn’t hatch this disturbing plot, he enthusiastically embraced it, researching addresses for journalists and those that oppose hate in our communities,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer Brian Moran.
On the evening Jan. 25 in Phoenix, Garza positioned a poster on the bed room window of an editor at native Jewish journal, depicting a determine in a cranium masks holding a Molotov cocktail in entrance of a burning dwelling.
“Your actions have penalties. Our endurance has its limits … You will have been visited by your native Nazis,” the poster learn.
Garza pleaded responsible to one rely of conspiracy to mail threatening communications, to commit cyberstalking and to intrude with a federally protected exercise.
He had confronted up to 5 years in prison.
Forward of his sentencing, Garza expressed regret for his actions, saying he was “in a time of darkness and isolation” that made it simpler for ”rebellious and resentful” influences to snatch his life.
“Very sadly, I fell in with the worst crowd you’ll be able to in all probability fall in with, a really self-destructive crowd as a minimum,” he informed U.S. District Choose John Coughenour.
The choose mentioned he believed Garza to be genuinely sorry, and that he’d additionally factored the person’s “turbulent childhood” into his determination to depart from sentencing tips.
Coughenour mentioned it had been “troubling” to see officers at “the best ranges of our authorities” name journalists “enemies of the folks.”
“Referring to journalism and the press and media as ‘pretend information’ permits people who find themselves weak to recommendations like this, very younger folks… that this type of conduct is suitable,” he mentioned.
Three others have been charged in the plot, together with Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe of Florida, who pleaded responsible to associated expenses and can be sentenced in February.
Trials for Cameron Brandon Shea, of Washington, and Kaleb Cole, of Texas, are set to start in March.
Greater than a dozen folks linked to Atomwaffen or an offshoot referred to as Feuerkrieg Division have been charged in federal court docket for the reason that group was based in 2016.
Atomwaffen has been linked to a number of murders in three states, together with the 2018 slaying of homosexual, Jewish faculty pupil Blaze Bernstein in California.
Assistant Lawyer Common Eric Dreiband, of the Civil Rights Division, famous that whereas the U.S. and its allies defeated German Nazis in World Warfare II, “Nazi-inspired threats and violence proceed to plague this nation and others” 75 years later.
With Publish wires