An organizer of a neo-Nazi campaign to threaten and intimidate journalists and Jewish activists in Washington and two other states has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for hate crime and conspiracy charges.
Cameron Shea, 25, of Redmond, was a leader of the neo-Nazi hate group Atomwaffen Division. He pleaded guilty in April to two felony counts related to allegations that he and three companions cyberstalked and sent Swastika-laden posters to journalists and an employee of the Anti-Defamation League, telling them, “You have been visited by your local Nazis,” “Your Actions have Consequences” and “We are Watching.”
Two other members of the group, Johnny Garza and Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Garza received a 16-month prison sentence and Parker-Dipeppe was sentenced to time served in jail.
The fourth defendant, Kaleb Cole, the alleged main leader of the group, is fighting the criminal case and awaits trial.
Agents broke the case with the help of an informant, who claimed that Cole once answered his door in full Knights of the Ku Klux Klan regalia, including the pointed hood. Court documents contain photographs of Cole with neo-Nazi extremists in Europe posing in skull masks outside the gates of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.
Court documents say Cole, who was raised in Everett and has family in Arlington, has been permanently banned from Canada, where officials have determined he was a “member of an organization that might engage in terrorism.”
The word “Atomwaffen” is German for “atomic weapon.”
In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said “this kind of conduct cannot be tolerated. This kind of conduct has consequences … It is so serious, it requires a serious sentence.”
“This hate-filled conduct strikes at the heart of our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman for the Western District of Washington. “This defendant’s goal was to make people fearful in their own homes, and he recruited and cheered on others who joined his sick scheme. This federal prison sentence underscores the human damage from his crimes.”
Shea pleaded guilty in April, to one count of conspiring to interfere with 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 his co-defendants are accused of conspiring via an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and individuals working to identify antisemitism, focusing primarily on members of the Jewish faith and journalists of color. The group created hateful posters that threatened violence and had them mailed or delivered on the same day to their targets in Tampa, Florida, Phoenix and Seattle, according to court documents. They were arrested and charged in February 2020.
The charges allege that Shea mailed posters to several victims, including a poster sent to an official at the Anti-Defamation League that depicted a Grim Reaper-like figure wearing a skeleton mask and holding a Molotov cocktail outside a residence, with the text “Our Patience Has Its Limits … You have been visited by your local Nazis.”