A 21-year-old Arizona man who pleaded responsible to serving to a neo-Nazi group threaten and intimidate journalists was sentenced on Wednesday to 16 months in federal jail.
The person, Johnny Roman Garza of Queen Creek, Ariz., was amongst a handful of individuals linked to a violent paramilitary neo-Nazi group, the Atomwaffen Division, who have been arrested in February, prosecutors in Virginia and Washington State introduced.
Brian T. Moran, america lawyer for the Western District of Washington, stated in a press release that Mr. Garza didn’t give you the scheme however “enthusiastically embraced” it.
Mr. Garza, who pleaded responsible in September to a conspiracy cost within the case, admitted that he had researched dwelling addresses for potential targets and that in January he had put a threatening poster on the bed room window of an editor of a Jewish publication in Arizona. The poster confirmed a hooded skeleton holding a Molotov cocktail in entrance of a burning dwelling, with the phrases “Your actions have penalties” and “Our Endurance Has Its Limits,” in accordance with court docket paperwork.
The poster additionally included private details about the editor, prosecutors stated.
The case was dealt with within the Western District of Washington as a result of one defendant was positioned there when he led the conspiracy, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor stated.
Mr. Garza appeared through Zoom on Wednesday from Arizona for sentencing by a choose within the federal courthouse in Seattle. He additionally admitted that he had tried in January to place up an identical poster at an residence complicated in Phoenix the place a member of the Arizona Affiliation of Black Journalists lived, however was unable to discover a place to show it.
Others folks in Atomwaffen focused a broadcast journalist in Seattle who had reported on Atomwaffen and two folks related to the Anti-Defamation League, officers stated. The New York Occasions reported earlier that Kirstjen Nielsen, who on the time was secretary of homeland safety, was additionally among the many targets.
Margaret Huang, president and chief government of the Southern Poverty Legislation Middle, stated in a press release that the group was “glad that Garza will probably be punished for his anti-Semitic and hate-filled threats” but in addition stated that it got here amid a rising wave of violence from white supremacists.
Seth M. Apfel, a lawyer for Mr. Garza, stated in an interview on Wednesday that his consumer, who will probably be on supervised launch for 3 years as soon as he will get out of jail, was working to depart that lifetime of hate behind.
Mr. Garza “went from harboring these views” to “fully embracing the precise reverse view,” his lawyer stated.
“The sunshine bulb began going off when he went into custody,” Mr. Apfel stated.
Mr. Garza, who will give up to authorities at a date to be decided to begin his sentence, has already distanced himself from his former associates, Mr. Apfel stated. Mr. Garza has taken courses to study Black and Jewish tradition and needs to work with the authorities and activists to forestall different folks from getting pulled into hate teams, Mr. Apfel stated.
“Actually, in my opinion, his transformation was very honest,” Mr. Apfel stated. “And I’m saying that not solely as a lawyer but in addition as a Jewish man who’s married to a Black girl.”
Mr. Garza is the primary defendant within the case to be sentenced. One other defendant who pleaded responsible in September is scheduled to be sentenced in February; two extra individuals who officers stated led the group, Kaleb Cole and Cameron Brandon Shea, are scheduled to go to trial in March.