A 25-year-old neo-Nazi organization leader was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a scheme to threaten journalists and advocates working to expose antisemitism, the US Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday.
The neo-Nazi in question, Kaleb Cole, is a leader of the internationally-recognized white supremacist hate group known as the Atomwaffen Division and had engaged in a plot to terrorize journalists, especially those who were Jewish or people of color. He was convicted by a federal jury in Washington of one count of interfering in a federally-protected activity due to religion, three counts of mailing threats and one count of conspiring to commit said crimes in addition to cyberstalking.
“Kaleb Cole helped lead a violent, nationwide neo-Nazi group,” said US Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington said in a statement.
“He repeatedly promoted violence, stockpiled weapons, and organized ‘hate camps.’ Today the community and those Mr. Cole and his co-conspirators targeted, stand up to say hate has no place here. He tried to intimidate journalists and advocates with hate-filled and threatening posters, tried to amplify their fear. Instead, they faced him in court and their courage has resulted in the federal prison sentence imposed today.”
“The defendant sought to intimidate journalists and advocates working to expose antisemitism, but that effort failed,” said Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
“Cole’s intended victims fought back but not with threats of violence; they fought back in a court of law. The FBI will continue to do our part by aggressively investigating cases involving threats or acts of violence.”
In late January 2020, the group had left or attempted to leave threatening posters covered in swastikas and statements such as "You have been visited by your local Nazis" at the homes of journalists. The posters contained threatening images, such as a hooded figure preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail at a house.
Three other co-conspirators – Cameron Shea, Johnny Roman Garza, and Tyler Parker-Dipeppe – previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced. The Associated Press had previously reported in March that Parker-Dipeppe, who is a transgender man, will not face any prison time after a federal judge concluded he had "already suffered enough."