Neo-Nazi pleads guilty in journalist threat case

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SEATTLE – (DOJ) – Cameron Shea, 25, a leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, pled guilty earlier today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to federal conspiracy and hate crime charges for threatening journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

Shea pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit three offenses against the United States: interference with federally-protected activities because of religion, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 245; mailing threatening communications, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 876; and cyberstalking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2261A. He also pled guilty to one count of interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 245.

Shea and three co-defendants were charged with conspiring via an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and advocates they wanted to threaten in retaliation for the victims’ work exposing anti-Semitism. The group focused primarily on those who are Jewish or journalists of color. The group created posters, which featured Nazi symbols, masked figures with guns and Molotov cocktails, and threatening messages, to deliver or mail to the journalists or advocates the group targeted. Shea messaged the group that he wanted Atomwaffen members in different locations to place posters on their victims’ homes on the same night to catch journalists off guard and accomplish a “show of force.” The posters were delivered to victims in Tampa, Seattle, and Phoenix. Shea mailed posters to several victims, including a poster sent to an official at the Anti-Defamation League that depicted a Grim Reaper-like figure wearing a skeleton mask holding a Molotov cocktail outside a residence, with the text “Our Patience Has Its Limits . . . You have been visited by your local Nazis.” Two of Shea’s co-defendants, Ashley Parker-Dipeppe and Johnny Roman Garza, previously pled guilty to the conspiracy charge and were sentenced. The fourth co-defendant, Kaleb Cole, pled not guilty and is awaiting trial in September 2021.

Shea will be sentenced on June 28, 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the hate crime charge and 5 years for the conspiracy charge.

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