(photo credit: REUTERS)
A US District Court sentenced Brandon Russell, self-described neo-Nazi and member of the Florida National Guard, to 5 years in prison on Tuesday for possession of an unregistered destructive device.
According to the Washington Post
, the sentencing took into consideration the Nazi ideology that the perpetrator continued to espouse in a hand-written letter while in jail.
Russell pled guilty to possession of the bomb and his attorney requested lenient sentencing of a maximum of 30 months which is the court guideline for similar crimes.
However, US District Judge Susan Bucklew said that public safety was the important factor because of Russell's continued Nazi ideology.
Investigators found at Russel’s residence a lab in the garage with explosive material near parts for homemade detonators and several pounds of ammonium nitrate.
Also, numerous Nazi and neo-Nazi ideaology was found at his home including Adolf Histler’s Mein Kampf
and a picture idolizing Timothy McVeigh, domestic terrorists and white supremacist sentenced to death for the Oklahoma Building bombing.
Russell’s attorney, Ian Goldstein, said, “He (Russell) has accepted responsibility for his offenses, and looks forward to serving his sentence and attempting to move forward with a productive and law abiding life.”
The homemade bombs were found May 19, 2017 at the home of Russell in Tampa Palms, Florida after Russell revealed to three friends the device.
One of the Russell’s friend present at the reveal, Devon Arthurs, is accused of murdering the other two for disrespecting Arthur’s conversation to Islam.
Arthur accuses Russell and the other two friends of targeting plans to blow up power lines in the Everglades and launch explosives into the Turkey Point nuclear power plant,
Police encountered Russell the day of the murders when he took several people hostage at a local shop, where he was hysterically crying and confessing to the murders.
Russell won’t be charged with the murders.