A 25-year-old Redmond man who led the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to three years in prison for federal conspiracy and hate crime charges for threatening journalists — including TV journalist and Edmonds resident Chris Ingalls — and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.
At the sentencing hearing for Cameron Shea, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said, “This conduct cannot be tolerated. This kind of conduct has consequences… It is so serious that it requires a serious sentence.”
“This hate-filled conduct strikes at the heart of our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “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 2021 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.” Among them was Ingalls, who had reported on Atomwaffen. (See more in our earlier story here.)
Two of Shea’s co-defendants previously pled guilty to the conspiracy charge and were sentenced. A fourth defendant pled not guilty and is awaiting trial in September 2021.