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Four arrested in conspiracy to intimidate journalists, activists: DOJ

Four arrested in conspiracy to intimidate journalists, activists: DOJ
© Greg Nash

Federal officials on Wednesday arrested and charged four alleged white supremacists in a plot to threaten journalists and activists, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

The criminal complaint alleges that Cameron Brandon Shea of Washington state, Kaleb Cole of Texas, Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe of Florida and Johnny Roman Garza of Arizona conspired through online chats to identify journalists and advocates for intimidation, focusing particularly on Jewish journalists and people of color.

The complaint alleges Cole and Shea created posters depicting Nazi iconography and threats of violence and electronically delivered them to members of Atomwaffen Division, a violent neo-Nazi group that has been tied to at least eight murders worldwide.

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The posters were later sent to a TV journalist who had covered the group in Seattle as well as people affiliated with the Anti-Defamation League, while targeting a magazine journalist in Phoenix. In Tampa, the defendants allegedly attempted to send them to another journalist but used the wrong address, according to the DOJ.

“Today’s announcement serves as a warning to anyone who intends to use violence as intimidation or coercion to further their ideology that the FBI remains steadfast in our commitment to protect Americans from domestic terrorism,” said Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Jill Sanborn. 

“These nationwide arrests are the result of the robust partnerships among the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Tampa, Seattle, Houston, and Phoenix and we appreciate their collective efforts,” she added.

Shea is scheduled to appear at the federal courthouse in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon while those arrested in other districts will make their initial appearances there and appear in Seattle at a future date.