Apr 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ: Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to hate crime, conspiracy in journalist threat case

The purported leader of the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division group has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and hate crime charges for threatening journalists and Jewish activists, the Department of Justice announced.

Driving the news: Cameron Shea, along with three others, was charged last year with conspiring to identify journalists and advocates "they wanted to threaten in retaliation for the victims' work exposing anti-Semitism," per the DOJ's Tuesday statement.

  • The group sent Swastika-laden posters to journalists or activists in Florida, Washington and Texas.
  • Some of the posters read: "You have been visited by your local Nazis.”

Details: Shea pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit three offenses against the U.S., including interference with federally protected activities because of religion, mailing threatening communications and cyberstalking.

  • He also pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion.
  • Shea faces up to 10 years in prison for the hate crime charge and a maximum of 5 years for the conspiracy charge.

What to watch: His sentencing is scheduled for June 28.

The big picture: Two of Shea's co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charged.

  • The fourth co-defendant, Kaleb Cole, has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for September, according to the DOJ.
  • The Atomwaffen Division is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. "AWD is organized as a series of terror cells that work toward civilizational collapse," according to the SPLC.
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