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Neo-Nazi Tim McVeigh Fan With Guns, Bomb Supplies *Might* Be Poor Choice For Bail, Even In Florida
Wouldn't want to inconvenience a nice young man
In Florida (OK, maybe we should just stop right there), a federal judge decided Friday that 21-year-old Brandon Russell was a good candidate to be released on bond. That would be even though Russell admitted he'd made explosives, likes to hang out in online neo-Nazi chat rooms and talk about killing people and blowing stuff up, and was arrested with two guns, a buttload of ammo, white power literature, and a framed photo of Timothy McVeigh in his apartment. Perhaps the deciding factor was that the McVeigh photo wasn't autographed.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas McCoun III just plain wasn't convinced there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Russell, charged last month with unregistered destructive devices and unlawful storage of explosives, might pose a threat to the community. It's not like he was a weirdo or anything.
Why, yes, the story does get even WTF-er. Russell came to the attention of authorities, as one will, when one of his three roomies (all four of them had been neo-Nazis together) renounced white supremacy, converted to Islam, and admitted killing the other two roommates because they didn't respect his newfound religion. Devon Arthurs, 18, confessed to the murders in Tampa:
Arthurs was arrested on May 19. Police found his roommates, 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk, with gunshot wounds in the head and upper body. They also found Russell, crying outside their apartment after finding his roommates dead.
Police discovered Russell’s bomb-making devices, as well as an explosive known as HTMD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine), in the garage after searching the apartment, court records say.
Ah. So Russell is one of those sensitive Nazis. Also, it should be clear from this narrative that Islam makes people become violent deranged killers.
Russell told detectives he's a white nationalist, and a member of a neo-Nazi group calling itself "Atom Waffen," German for "atomic Weapon" and also a pretty good band name. He acknowledged playing around with the HTMD and bomb parts found in his apartment, but insisted the chemicals were only meant to be used for homemade rockets, which officials said was a pretty unlikely use for HTMD.
Here's a fun detail!
After he talked to detectives, Russell went to a gun store in Homestead, Fla., where he bought two hunting rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He was later arrested.
Tampa sounds like a pretty relaxed place to have explosives, guns, and hundreds of rounds of ammo. It's not nearly as laid-back as the Keys, though, where residents gather every day and attempt to shoot the sun out of the sky.
Why, yes, Mr. Russell is also a member of the Florida National Guard. Seems like a good place for an avowed neo-Nazi. He doesn't have any prior arrests, and relatives said they're willing to keep an eye on him, the little scamp, so Judge McCoun said that while he found Russell's purchase of a small arsenal a tad concerning, he didn't think it was enough to justify denying bond. After all, what could be dangerous about a neo-Nazi who idolizes Tim McVeigh, likes fiddling with bombs and guns, and just lost two of his best Nazi buds to a former friend who joined a religion Nazis despise? Our guess is that he intends to get some rest after his ordeal, the poor lad.
Young Mr. Russell is still in the Pinellas County Jail after prosecutors requested a 72-hour delay to give them time to file a more detailed motion requesting that McCoun reconsider his ruling. As of yet, it doesn't appear that anyone has set up a GoFundMe to help Russell regain his precious, precious guns.
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