Suspected Neo-Nazi Pleads Guilty to Gun Crime
‘I assume you’re here because of my swastika flag,’ defendant says in newly released video
A suspected neo-Nazi has pleaded guilty to a gun crime following an investigation by the FBI, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Aiden Bruce-Umbaugh, 23, pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition by a prohibited person in Lubbock in January.
Video unsealed by the Court yesterday evening shows the defendant, handcuffed and clad in an orange jumpsuit, telling agents, “I assume you’re here because of my swastika flag and my firearms.”
According to his plea papers, Mr. Bruce-Umbaugh – who was arrested in November in Post, Texas, dressed in tactical gear – admitted to possessing AR-15 rifle, two AK-47 rifles, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, and assorted ammunition while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance. (Federal law prohibits unlawful users of controlled substances to possess firearms.)
Mr. Bruce-Umbaugh admits he and Kaleb Cole were pulled over in a blue Ford Focus on Nov. 4. Inside the vehicle, law enforcement discovered the firearms, a small canister of marijuana, and a vial of THC oil.
Mr. Bruce-Umbaugh – who “avoided eye contact and limited conversation” with law enforcement and denied having anything illegal inside the vehicle during the traffic stop – later admitted that the firearms, marijuana, and THC belonged to him, telling investigators he smoked marijuana on a daily basis, according to plea papers.
“The Northern District of Texas is committed to keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “As a drug user, this defendant should never have been allowed to possess firearms. We’re grateful to our law enforcement partners for helpings us keep this defendant, and his guns, off the streets.”
“The amount of weapons and ammunition seized from the defendant could have caused serious harm. Luckily, the FBI and our law enforcement partners successfully intervened before an act of violence could be committed,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The FBI will continue working with our partners to protect the communities we serve.”
In jailhouse phone calls, Mr. Bruce-Umbaugh allegedly referenced his affiliation with “the group,” declared he was “a Nazi,” and discussed a photo taken of him and another AtomWaffen Division member at the Auschwitz concentration camp, prosecutors said at the detention hearing.
Propaganda videos admitted into evidence and released by the Court Monday – which spew hateful rhetoric against Jews – depict members of the AtomWaffen Division at self-described “hate camps” practicing hand-to-hand combat and shooting firearms.
“Race war now!” they cry, before one displays a Nazi salute.
The defendant now faces a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison. He is slated to be sentenced on Thursday, April 23.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Lubbock Resident Agency, the Garza County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Lorfing and Stephen Rancourt are prosecuting the case.
The case was brought under Project Guardian, the Justice Department's signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a
prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.