TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Prosecutors are seeking a maximum 11-year sentence for a neo-Nazi group leader who stockpiled explosive material in the Florida apartment where a friend killed their two roommates, calling him an unrepentant ideologue who poses a serious danger once he gets out.
The sentencing of Brandon Russell, 22, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in federal court in Tampa.
Devon Arthurs, Russell’s friend, awaits trial in state court on charges of murdering their two roommates, Andrew Oneschuk, 18, and Jeremy Himmelman, 22, both of Massachusetts.
Russell wasn’t charged in the May 2017 killings, which exposed the four roommates’ membership in Atomwaffen Division, an obscure neo-Nazi group co-founded by Arthurs and Russell that formed on the internet. Atomwaffen is German for “atomic weapon.”
Inside Russell’s bedroom, authorities said, they found several firearms, ammunition and a framed picture of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on Russell’s bedroom dresser. Investigators also found a North Korean flag, multiple copies of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and other neo-Nazi and white supremacist propaganda in the apartment.
“Russell had a place of prominence for the picture of his idol, Timothy McVeigh, someone who turned his ideology into violent action,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Josephine Thomas. “A photographic journey through Russell’s apartment_the backdrop of the murder scene_is a chilling confirmation of Russell’s intent to follow in the footsteps of his hero.”
Russell set up a “mini-lab” in the garage, where investigators found explosive material stored in a cooler, near homemade detonator components and several pounds of ammonium nitrate, according to Thomas.
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