Neo-Nazis who led efforts to threaten journalists get 3 years

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SEATTLE (AP) – An organizer of a neo-Nazi campaign to threaten Jewish journalists and activists in three states was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday after apologizing for what he did and saying that he was a changed man.

Cameron Shea was one of four members of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division accused last year of cyberstalking and sending swastika posters to journalists and an Anti-Defamation League employee. , telling them: “You have been visited by your Nazis”, “Your actions have consequences” and “We are watching”.

“The accused wanted the victims to feel unsafe in their homes,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Shea, 25, pleaded guilty in April in Seattle U.S. District Court to two of the charges in the five-count indictment: a conspiracy charge carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison and interference in federally protected activity, up to 10 Prosecutors requested a sentence of more than four years.

In a letter to Judge John C. Coughenour, Shea apologized, stating, “I cannot express the guilt I feel about this fear and pain that I have caused.”

Shea wrote that he was homeless, struggling with an addiction, and dealing with the death of a friend when he began researching neo-Nazism. He said he befriended detainees of other races during his detention and now understands that journalists play a crucial role in holding institutions and individuals to account.

“The only reason I didn’t like the media was because I was participating in things that I didn’t want to be known to the public, because on some level I knew the things I was involved in were bad. “, he wrote.

Motivated by the negative media coverage of the Atomwaffen Division, Shea made it clear in a panel discussion in November 2019 that the purpose of the plot was to intimidate journalists and others.

On January 25, 2020, Shea sent the threatening leaflets to two people associated with the Anti-Defamation League, which opposes anti-Semitism, and a reporter who covered Atomwaffen. Conspirators in Arizona and Florida also delivered or attempted to deliver the flyers to targets.

The other defendant accused of leading the conspiracy, Kaleb Cole, has pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial in September. Seattle Police seized Cole’s guns in 2019 under an “extreme risk protection order” that suggested he was planning a race war.

More than a dozen people linked to Atomwaffen or a branch called Feuerkrieg Division have been charged with crimes by a federal court since the group’s formation in 2016.

Atomwaffen has been linked to multiple murders, including the May 2017 shooting deaths of two men in an apartment in Tampa, Florida, and the January 2018 murder of a University of Pennsylvania student in California.

Two other members of the Airmen Plot were convicted after pleading guilty: Johnny Roman Garza, 21, of Queen Creek, Ariz., Who hung one of the posters on a Jewish journalist’s bedroom window; and Taylor Parker-Dipeppe, 21, of Spring Hill, Fla., who attempted to deliver a flyer but left it at the wrong address.

Garza was sentenced to 16 months in prison. Parker-Dipeppe, who was severely abused by his father and stepfather and withheld his transgender identity from his co-conspirators, received no jail time – a judge felt he had suffered enough.

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