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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Atomwaffen Division Member Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charge

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A member of the Atomwaffen Division, a white supremacist organization, pleaded guilty today to possessing firearms while being an unlawful drug user and making a false statement in order to illegally purchase a firearm.

“Marijuana and firearms are a potentially deadly mix,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “If you are a drug user, you are prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm. Simple as that.”

According to court documents, in October 2017, Andrew Thomasberg, 21, of McLean, purchased a semiautomatic rifle and claimed to be the true purchaser. In fact, Thomasberg knew this statement was false and that he was purchasing the gun for a third party. He transferred that firearm to that third party after purchasing it. Thomasberg also possessed at least four firearms while unlawfully using controlled substances, including marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and opium.

"Thomasburg lied in order to illegal purchase a firearm," said Timothy R Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office. "The FBI works with our partners to take criminals possessing illegal firearms off the streets to ensure a safer community for all citizens."

According to court documents and testimony, Thomasberg has association with white supremacist organizations, such as Vanguard America and Atomwaffen Division.

Thomasberg pleaded guilty to making a material false statement in relation to the purchase of a firearm and to possessing firearms while being an unlawful user of or addicted to controlled substances. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Feb 28, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony W. Mariano and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Walutes, Jr. are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-337.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated November 12, 2019