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Case Number: 2:20-cr-00032-JCC
Judge: John C. Coughenour
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (King County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office
Description: Seattle, Washington hate crime charge criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant, Cameron Shea, 25, a leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, pled guilty to federal conspiracy and hate crime charges for threatening journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.
Shea pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit three offenses against the United States: interference with federally-protected activities because of religion; mailing threatening communications; and cyberstalking. He also pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion.
Shea and three co-defendants were charged with conspiring via an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and advocates they wanted to threaten in retaliation for the victims’ work exposing anti-Semitism. The group focused primarily on those who are Jewish or journalists of color. The group created posters, which featured Nazi symbols, masked figures with guns and Molotov cocktails, and threatening messages, to deliver or mail to the journalists or advocates the group targeted. Shea messaged the group that he wanted Atomwaffen members in different locations to place posters on their victims’ homes on the same night to catch journalists off guard and accomplish a “show of force.” The posters were delivered to victims in Tampa, Seattle, and Phoenix. Shea mailed posters to several victims, including a poster sent to an official at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that depicted a Grim Reaper-like figure wearing a skeleton mask holding a Molotov cocktail outside a residence, with the text “Our Patience Has Its Limits . . . You have been visited by your local Nazis.” Two of Shea’s co-defendants, Ashley Parker-Dipeppe and Johnny Roman Garza, previously pled guilty to the conspiracy charge and were sentenced. The fourth co-defendant, Kaleb Cole, pled not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Shea will be sentenced on June 28. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the hate crime charge and five years for the conspiracy charge.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Tampa, Seattle, Houston, and Phoenix with assistance from National Security Division Counterterrorism Section Trial Attorney David Smith and the Seattle Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Michael J. Songer of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods of the Western District of Washington with assistance from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Texas, District of Arizona, and Central District of California.
Conspiracy to Mail Threatening Communications and to Commit Cyberstalking - 18:371
Conspiracy to Mail Threatening Communications, to Commit Stalking, and to Interfere with Federally Protected Activities - 18:371
Mailing Threatening Communications - 18:876(c)
Mailing Threatening Communications - 18:876(c)
Interference with Federally Protected Activity - 18:245
Outcome: 04/07/2021 178 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Mary Alice Theiler via Zoom video conference - CRD: K. Peter; AUSA: Thomas Woods; Def Cnsl: Gregory Murphy; Court Reporter: Zoom Recording; Time of Hearing: 11:00am; CHANGE OF PLEA HEARING as to Cameron Brandon Shea held on 4/7/2021. Defendant present in custody and consents to appear by video conference. Defendant placed under oath and advised of rights/charges/penalties; Defendant executes Consent to Rule 11 Plea in a felony case before a U.S. Magistrate Judge; Defendant born = 1995; Education = 12 years; Court reviews the plea agreement; Cameron Brandon Shea (1) pleads GUILTY to Count 1s,5s in the Superseding Indictment. Remaining Counts to be dismissed at sentencing. Court finds the Defendant is competent to enter a guilty plea; Court signs the Report and Recommendation and Counsel have fourteen days to file objections; Court orders the preparation of a Presentence Report. Defendant remanded to custody.
Sentencing set for 6/28/2021 at 09:00 AM before U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. (KMP) (Entered: 04/07/2021)
04/07/2021 179 WAIVER of In-Person Hearing by defendant Cameron Brandon Shea (KMP) (Entered: 04/07/2021)
04/07/2021 180 CONSENT TO RULE 11 PLEA in a felony case as to Cameron Brandon Shea (KMP) (Entered: 04/07/2021)
04/07/2021 181 PLEA AGREEMENT as to Cameron Brandon Shea (cc: USPO, FLU, AFU) (KMP) (Entered: 04/07/2021)
04/07/2021 182 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re Plea of Guilty as to Cameron Brandon Shea by Hon. Mary Alice Theiler. Noting Date 4/22/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Acceptance of Plea) (cc: USPO) (KMP) (Entered: 04/07/2021)