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Valley man arrested in alleged neo-Nazi conspiracy to threaten journalists

(Creative Commons Photo)

PHOENIX – An East Valley man was arrested for his alleged role in a neo-Nazi conspiracy to threaten journalists and activists, authorities said Wednesday.

Johnny Roman Garza, 20, was among four people in four states accused of conspiring to intimidate journalists who are Jewish or people of color, according to the Department of Justice.

“These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities,” U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington said in a press release.

“As Attorney General William Barr has made clear, rooting out anti-Semitic hate and threats of violence and vigorously prosecuting those responsible are top priorities for the Department of Justice.”

Cameron Brandon Shea, 24, of Redmond, Washington; Kaleb Cole, 24, of Montgomery, Texas; and Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, 20, of Spring Hill, Florida, were also arrested in the case.

They are connected to Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi hate group, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the group mailed posters with threatening images, including Nazi symbols, to targeted journalists.

A magazine journalist in Phoenix was among those targeted, according to the Department of Justice.

“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,” Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Jill Sanborn said in the release.

“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.”

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