January 22, 2022

News

News Network

Member of Neo-Nazi Group Sentenced for Plot to Target Journalists and Advocates

11 min read
<div>Johnny Roman Garza, 21, a member of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced today to 16 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.</div>

Johnny Roman Garza, 21, a member of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced today to 16 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.

Garza previously pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to conspiring with other Atomwaffen members to commit three offenses against the United States: interference with federally-protected activities because of religion, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 245; mailing threatening communications, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 876; and cyberstalking, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2261A. 

“The United States and other nations fought a global war to rid the world of murderous threats and violence by Nazis. The nation and its allies defeated Nazi Germany, but Nazi-inspired threats and violence continue to plague this nation and others 75 years after the end of World War II. The defendant threatened a Jewish journalist and conspired to intimidate journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism around the country,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Threats motivated by religious intolerance are unacceptable, and so too are threats aimed at those who work to end such discrimination. The Justice Department will continue the fight against neo-Nazi-related threats and violence and is committed fully to investigating and prosecuting anyone who commits hate crimes.” 

“While this defendant did not hatch this disturbing plot, he enthusiastically embraced it, researching addresses for journalists and those who oppose hate in our communities,” said Brian T. Moran U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. “Ultimately in the dark of night he delivered a hateful, threatening poster — spreading fear and anxiety. Such conduct has no place in our community.”

“Protecting our communities from terrorism, both domestic and international, is a top priority for the FBI,” said FBI Seattle Acting Special Agent in Charge Earl Camp. “Mr. Garza, along with his conspirators, targeted and intimidated journalists from minority groups with communications threatening violence. We are proud of the collaborative nationwide efforts of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces and other law enforcement partners to hold these individuals accountable for their actions.”

In his plea agreement, Garza admitted that he conspired with the other defendants via an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and advocates to threaten in retaliation for the victims’ work exposing anti-Semitism. The group focused primarily on journalists and advocates who were Jewish or people of color. In a message to the other co-defendants, Garza explained that the plot was designed to “have them all wake up one morning and find themselves terrorized by targeted propaganda.” On the night of Jan. 25, 2020, Garza placed a poster on the bedroom window of a prominent Jewish journalist that depicted a figure in a skull mask holding a Molotov cocktail in front of a burning home.  The poster contained the victim’s name and address, and warned, “Your actions have consequences. Our patience has its limits . . . You have been visited by your local Nazis.”

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Tampa, Seattle, Houston, and Phoenix, with assistance from the Seattle Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Michael J. Songer, with assistance from National Security Division Trial Attorney David Smith and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Texas, District of Arizona, and Central District of California.

More from: December 9, 2020

News Network

  • Robbery and related assault sends violent gang members to prison
    In Justice News
    Three Houston gang [Read More…]
  • Counselor Chollet’s Travel to Ukraine and Poland
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Counselor of the [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement on the U.S.-Kazakhstan Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue 
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • VA Health Care: VA Should Expedite the Implementation of Recommendations Needed to Improve Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Services
    In U.S GAO News
    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is caused by an extremely stressful event, can develop after military combat and exposure to the threat of death or serious injury. Mental health experts estimate that the intensity of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan could cause more than 15 percent of servicemembers returning from these conflicts to develop PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating and include insomnia; intense anxiety; and difficulty coping with work, social, and family relationships. Left untreated, PTSD can lead to substance abuse, severe depression, and suicide. Symptoms may appear within months of the traumatic event or be delayed for years. While there is no cure for PTSD, experts believe early identification and treatment of PTSD symptoms may lessen their severity and improve the overall quality of life for individuals with this disorder. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a world leader in PTSD treatment and offers PTSD services to eligible veterans. To inform new veterans about the health care services it offers, VA has increased outreach efforts to servicemembers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Outreach efforts, coupled with expanded access to VA health care for these new veterans, are likely to result in greater numbers of veterans with PTSD seeking VA services. Congress highlighted the importance of VA PTSD services more than 20 years ago when it required the establishment of the Special Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Special Committee) within VA, primarily to aid Vietnam-era veterans diagnosed with PTSD. A key charge of the Special Committee is to make recommendations for improving VA's PTSD services. The Special Committee issued its first report on ways to improve VA's PTSD services in 1985 and its latest report, which includes 37 recommendations for VA, in 2004. The Special Committee reports also include evaluations of whether VA has met or not met the recommendations made by the Special Committee in prior reports. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a world leader in PTSD treatment and offers PTSD services to eligible veterans. To inform new veterans about the health care services it offers, VA has increased outreach efforts to servicemembers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Outreach efforts, coupled with expanded access to VA health care for these new veterans, are likely to result in greater numbers of veterans with PTSD seeking VA services. Congress asked us to determine whether VA has addressed the Special Committee's recommendations to improve VA's PTSD services. We focused our review on 24 recommendations related to clinical care and education made by VA's Special Committee on PTSD in its 2004 report to determine (1) the extent to which VA has met each recommendation related to clinical care and education and (2) VA's time frame for implementing each of these recommendations.GAO determined that VA has not fully met any of 24 Special Committee recommendations in our review related to clinical care and education. Specifically, we determined that VA has not met 10 recommendations and has partially met 14 of these 24 recommendations. For example, the Special Committee recommended that VA develop, disseminate, and implement a best practice treatment guideline for PTSD. The Special Committee designated the recommendation as met because VA had developed and disseminated the guideline. However, because we found that VA does not have documentation to show that the treatment part of the guideline is being implemented at its medical facilities and community-based clinics, we designated the recommendation as partially met. We also determined that VA does not plan to fully implement 23 of 24 recommendations until fiscal year 2007 or later. Ten of these are long-standing recommendations that were first made in the Special Committee report issued in 1985. VA's delay in fully implementing the recommendations raises questions about VA's capacity to identify and treat veterans returning from military combat who may be at risk for developing PTSD, while maintaining PTSD services for veterans currently receiving them. This is particularly important because we reported in September 2004 that officials at six of seven VA medical facilities stated that they may not be able to meet an increase in demand for PTSD services. In addition, the Special Committee reported in its 2004 report that VA does not have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of new combat veterans while still providing for veterans of past wars. If servicemembers returning from military combat do not have access to PTSD services, many mental health experts believe that the chance may be missed, through early identification and treatment of PTSD, to lessen the severity of the symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for these combat veterans with PTSD. Moreover, VA has identified geographic areas of the country where large numbers of servicemembers are returning from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. VA could consider focusing first on ensuring service availability at facilities in areas that are likely to experience the most demand for PTSD services.
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement on Hong Kong
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Canada’s Federal Elections
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Texas Entrepreneur Charged with Spending COVID Relief Funds on Improper Expenses Including Lamborghini and Strip Club
    In Crime News
    A Houston, Texas man has been taken into custody on allegations he fraudulently obtained more than $1.6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas.
    [Read More…]
  • Missile Defense: Fiscal Year 2020 Delivery and Testing Progressed, but Annual Goals Unmet
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In fiscal year 2020, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) made progress toward achieving its delivery and testing goals for some of the individual systems—known as elements—that combine and integrate to create the Missile Defense System (also known as the Ballistic Missile Defense System). However, MDA did not complete its overall planned deliveries or annual testing. The figure below shows MDA's progress delivering assets and conducting flight tests against its fiscal year 2020 plans. Percentage of Missile Defense Agency Planned Deliveries and Flight Tests Completed for Fiscal Year 2020 Deliveries— In fiscal year 2020, MDA delivered many assets it had planned. Specifically, MDA was able to deliver 82 missile interceptors for 3 elements. However, MDA was not able to deliver all planned interceptors, including one originally planned for 2018 for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, as the program experienced delays related to qualifying parts from a new supplier. Flight testing— MDA conducted two planned flight tests, but neither was successful. The issues were due to problems with non-MDA assets, but the agency was able to collect important data. In addition, COVID-19 restrictions also affected the planned schedule. However, the delays continue a trend of MDA's inability to conduct planned annual flight testing, resulting in assets and capabilities that are subsequently delayed or delivered with less data than planned. Ground testing— In fiscal year 2020, MDA continued to implement a new ground testing approach that the agency began in fiscal year 2019. In addition, MDA successfully completed three planned ground tests demonstrating defense capabilities for the U.S., U.S. forces and regional allies. However, MDA delayed two other ground tests to future fiscal years and expects disruptions in fiscal year 2021, in part due to ongoing COVID-19 disruptions. Cyber— Despite failing to meet annual operational cybersecurity assessments since 2017, MDA canceled its planned fiscal year 2020 operational assessments, instead taking steps to implement a new approach designed to improve cyber system requirements while streamlining cyber test planning. It is premature to assess whether this new approach will achieve its intended goals. Why GAO Did This Study For over half a century, the Department of Defense has funded efforts to defend the U.S. from ballistic missile attacks. This effort consists of diverse and highly complex land-, sea-, and space-based systems and assets located across the globe. From 2002 through 2019, MDA—the agency charged with developing, testing, integrating, and fielding this system of systems—received about $162.5 billion. The agency also requested about $45 billion from fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2024. In fiscal year 2020, MDA's mission broadened to include evolving threats beyond ballistic missiles such as defending against hypersonic missile attacks. With the inclusion of non-ballistic missile threats, the Ballistic Missile Defense System is in the process of transitioning to the Missile Defense System. Congress included a provision in statute that GAO annually assess and report on MDA's progress. This, our 18th annual review, addresses the progress MDA made in achieving fiscal year 2020 delivery and testing goals. GAO reviewed planned fiscal year 2020 baselines, along with program changes due to COVID-19 restrictions, and other program documentation and assessed them against responses to GAO detailed question sets and program and baseline reviews. GAO also interviewed officials from MDA and various Department of Defense Combatant Commands. We do not make any new recommendations in this report but continue to track the status of prior recommendations. For more information, contact John D. Sawyer at (202) 512-4841 or SawyerJ@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • International Statement: End-To-End Encryption and Public Safety
    In Crime News
    We, the undersigned, [Read More…]
  • Opening Remarks by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken Before the Senate Committee on Appropriations
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Deputy Secretary McKeon’s Meeting with Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Linde
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia Agrees To Pay $60.4 Million in Connection with Commodities Price Manipulation Scheme
    In Crime News
    The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), a Toronto, Canada-based global banking and financial services firm, has entered into a resolution with the Department of Justice to resolve criminal charges related to a price manipulation scheme involving thousands of episodes of unlawful trading activity by four traders in the precious metals futures contracts markets.
    [Read More…]
  • Special Envoy Lenderking and Chargé Westley’s Visit to Aden, Yemen
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
  • Man Sentenced for Receiving, Soliciting and Promoting Child Pornography
    In Crime News
    A Virginia man was sentenced today to 240 months, or 20 years, in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for downloading images and videos depicting children as young as 4 years old being sexually abused, and for utilizing the Dark Net to solicit and promote child pornography.
    [Read More…]
  • Introductory Remarks of Deputy Attorney General at Announcement of Civil Antitrust Lawsuit Filed Against Google
    In Crime News
    This morning, the Department of Justice and eleven states filed an antitrust civil lawsuit against Google, for unlawfully maintaining a monopoly in general search services and search advertising in violation of section two of the Sherman Act.
    [Read More…]
  • Defined Contribution Plans: Federal Guidance Could Help Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks in 401(k) and Other Retirement Plans
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In their role administering private sector employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, plan sponsors and their service providers—record keepers, third party administrators, custodians, and payroll providers—share a variety of personally identifiable information (PII) and plan asset data among them to assist with carrying out their respective functions (see figure). The PII exchanged for DC plans typically include participant name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, username/password; plan asset data typically includes numbers for both retirement and bank accounts. The sharing and storing of this information can lead to significant cybersecurity risks for plan sponsors and their service providers, as well as plan participants. Data Sharing Among Plan Sponsors and Service Providers in Defined Contribution Plans Federal requirements and industry guidance exist that could mitigate cybersecurity risks in DC plans, such as requirements that pertain to entities that directly engage in financial activities involving DC plans. However, not all entities involved in DC plans are considered to have such direct engagement, and other cybersecurity mitigation guidance is voluntary. Federal law nevertheless requires plan fiduciaries to act prudently when administering plans. However, the Department of Labor (DOL) has not clarified fiduciary responsibility for mitigating cybersecurity risks, even though 21 of 22 stakeholders GAO interviewed expressed the view that cybersecurity is a fiduciary duty. Further, DOL has not established minimum expectations for protecting PII and plan assets. DOL officials told GAO that the agency intends to issue guidance addressing cybersecurity-related issues, but they were unsure when it would be issued. Until DOL clarifies responsibilities for fiduciaries and provides minimum cybersecurity expectations, participants' data and assets will remain at risk. Why GAO Did This Study Cyber attacks against information systems (IT) are perpetuated by individuals or groups with malicious intentions, from stealing identities to appropriating money from accounts. DC plans, which allow individuals to accumulate tax-advantaged retirement savings, increasingly rely on the internet and IT systems for their administration. Accordingly, the need to secure these systems has become paramount. Ineffective data security controls can result in significant risks to plan data and assets. In 2018, DC plans enrolled 106 million participants and held nearly $6.3 trillion in assets, according to DOL. This report examines (1) the data that sponsors and providers exchange during the administration of DC plans and their associated cybersecurity risks, and (2) efforts to assist sponsors and providers to mitigate cybersecurity risks during the administration of DC plans. GAO interviewed key entities involved with DC plans, such as sponsors and record keepers, DOL officials and industry stakeholders; and reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement by the Secretary of State of the United States of America, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, and Italy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Resolves Antitrust Case Against Leading Central Pennsylvania Health Care Providers
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with Geisinger Health (Geisinger) and Evangelical Community Hospital (Evangelical) that will resolve the department’s ongoing civil antitrust litigation challenging Geisinger’s partial acquisition of Evangelical. Among other terms, the settlement requires Geisinger to cap its ownership interest in Evangelical at a 7.5% passive interest and eliminates additional entanglements between the two competing hospitals.
    [Read More…]
  • Health Care Capsule: Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
    In U.S GAO News
    This capsule draws from a number of GAO reports to describe examples of racial and ethnic health disparities, barriers that may contribute to disparities, and federal efforts to help address them. In this capsule, GAO cites policy considerations and reiterates recommendations to improve gaps in race and ethnicity data. For more information, contact Alyssa M. Hundrup at (202) 512-7114 or HundrupA@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Romania National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.