Roanoke, Virginia, Neo-Nazi Sentenced for Threats, Witness Intimidation
WASHINGTON -- William A. "Bill" White, the self-proclaimed commander of the neo-Nazi group the American National Socialist Workers Party, was sentenced today in federal court for threatening two individuals and for attempting to intimidate litigants in a federal housing discrimination lawsuit, the Justice Department announced.
White was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Turk to 30 months in federal prison. White was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, during which he is prohibited from maintaining a Web site and using the Internet for employment or for a hobby.
White was convicted in December 2009, for three counts of communicating threats in interstate commerce, and one count of witness intimidation. One additional count of conviction for communicating threats in interstate commerce was dismissed by Judge Turk in February 2010.
In December, a jury found White guilty of threatening a bank employee who White mistakenly believed was assigned to handle a financial dispute involving his Citibank accounts. The defendant made dozens of phone calls to Citibank offices in an attempt to identify and locate the victim. White eventually discovered the victim’s office and home telephone numbers and email address, and left voice mails and sent her an email which referenced the murder of a federal judge.
The jury also found White guilty of using intimidation to delay or prevent the testimony of African-American tenants in a discrimination case against their landlord. On May 23, 2007, White mailed letters to the African-American tenants at their Virginia Beach, Va., homes, using the letterhead of the White National Socialist American Working Party, a Nazi swastika and White’s signature and title. The letters read, in part: "I do not know [name redacted] but I do know your type of slum [racial epithet], and I wanted you to know that your actions have not been missed by the white community … and we know that you are and will never be anything other than a dirty parasite – and that our patience with you and the government that coddles you runs thin." In addition to the letter, White also included a copy of the ANSWP Magazine titled "The Negro Beast and Why Blacks Who Work Aren’t Worth the Cost of Welfare." The letter and magazine were sent directly to the children of one of the victims.
White was also convicted for making threats to a university administrator who was responsible for implementing a diversity program. On Oct. 31, 2007, White called the victim’s home and office, attempting to verify her home address. White spoke with the victim’s secretary and told her that people like the victim should be hunted down and shot. Later that morning, White posted the victim’s personal information on various Web sites. Included in the postings was the text, "Go to their homes here," "We shot Marxists sixty years ago, we can shoot them again!" and "You know what to do. Get to work!"
"Our nation will not tolerate the acts of individuals who, fueled by bigotry and hate, threaten or intimidate individuals because of their race," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez for the Civil Rights Division. "William White tried to disguise his hateful behavior as speech protected by the First Amendment. The jury rejected this defense in December, and this sentence demonstrates that all threatening and intimidating behavior, no matter how a perpetrator tries to mask it, will be subject to the same punishment under the law."
"Racial prejudice has no place in a civilized society. No one who lives in this community should feel at liberty to threaten or intimidate others as an expression of that racial animus. While the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to free expression, it does not protect hate-mongers like Bill White," said U.S.Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy for the Western District of Virginia. "The Department of Justice will react swiftly when anyone attempts to threaten or intimidate other people due to their race. The White case demonstrates our commitment to vigorously prosecuting anyone who commits a hate crime in this district."
The case was investigated by Special Agent David Church of the FBI. The case was prosecuted by trial attorneys John Richmond and Cindy Chung from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Patrick Hogeboom, III for the Western District of Virginia.