ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — US Federal prosecutors in Virginia are searching for a five-year jail sentence for a former neo-Nazi group chief who pleaded responsible to conspiring with different far-right extremists to threaten dozens of targets, together with a predominantly African American church, a sitting US Cabinet member and journalists.
John Cameron Denton, of Montgomery, Texas, and others concerned within the plot made no less than 134 threats to injure folks and establishments, usually for racist causes, Justice Department prosecutors wrote in a court docket submitting final Wednesday. They stated Denton participated in “the most far-reaching swatting conspiracy in our nation to date,” referring to hoax calls made to idiot emergency dispatchers into sending police to the addresses of unsuspecting victims.
US District Judge Liam O’Grady is scheduled to condemn Denton on Tuesday. Denton was 26 when he pleaded responsible in July 2020 to conspiring to transmit threats.
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Prosecutors say Denton was a pacesetter of a group referred to as Atomwaffen Division. More than a dozen folks linked to Atomwaffen Division or an offshoot referred to as Feuerkrieg Division have been charged with federal crimes because the group’s formation in 2016. Many have pleaded responsible and been sentenced already.
Atomwaffen has been linked to a number of killings, together with the May 2017 capturing deaths of two males at an condominium in Tampa, Florida, and the January 2018 killing of a University of Pennsylvania scholar in California.
The prices towards Denton and different Atomwaffen members and associates centered on hoax “swatting” calls that they made to targets in 2018 and 2019, together with the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, the place one of Denton’s associates attended faculty.
In court docket, a choose has famous that the US Secret Service waved native police away from mobilizing to Nielsen’s house in Alexandria in January 2019 after a member of the conspiracy referred to as, claiming hostages had been being taken there.
Denton additionally positioned swatting calls to the New York City workplaces of information outlet ProPublica and to a ProPublica reporter in Richmond, California. Prosecutors say Denton had a vendetta towards the ProPublica journalist for reporting on his actions in Atomwaffen, together with for a PBS Frontline documentary.
Prosecutors’ submitting says the reporter’s younger son has nightmares about neo-Nazis kidnapping his household and murdering his father, and the expertise has prompted the Mexican American boy to ask, “Why do Nazis hate brown people like me?”
“It is simply heartbreaking that a young child is asking such questions and has been forced to flee his home with his parents because of fear of being violently attacked,” they wrote.
Denton admitted that he used the monikers “Rape” and “Tormentor” in a web based discussion board that they used to coordinate the swatting calls.
“The conspirators also targeted individuals streaming live videos because the conspirators hoped to observe law enforcement responding to their calls,” prosecutors wrote.
Another member of the swatting conspiracy, former ODU scholar John William Kirby Kelley, was sentenced in March to 33 months in jail for his position in making the swatting calls.
When Denton was arrested in February 2020, prosecutors in Seattle additionally introduced prices towards Denton’s roommate, Kaleb Cole, and others in a separate plot to harass journalists and Jewish activists in three states. Cole has pleaded not responsible and is because of face trial in September.
Prosecutors say they agree with the probation workplace’s calculation that federal sentencing tips for Denton’s case name for a jail term starting from 51 to 60 months. The choose isn’t certain by these suggestions.
“When Americans target other Americans based on race, religious beliefs, or other individual characteristics, we are all harmed,” prosecutors wrote. “Such actions, if left unpunished, signal an acceptance that such malevolent conduct is the norm and not the exception.”