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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 25, 2022

Eugene White Supremacist Sentenced to Federal Prison for Mailing Threatening Communications

EUGENE, Ore.—A Eugene area white supremacist was sentenced to federal prison today for mailing threatening communications to a former teacher whom he targeted in part because of her sexual orientation.

Gary Franklin, 58, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

“Mr. Franklin’s harassment of the victim in this case was hateful and downright disturbing. Further, the bigoted and racist ideology he espoused and lauded have no place in our community. Nobody should have to live in fear of depraved individuals like Mr. Franklin. Mailing threatening communications is a serious federal crime and will continue to be a top priority for our office,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“There is no way to undo the damage Gary Franklin did to the victim and her family with his hateful, repulsive, and threatening behavior,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI hopes today’s prison sentence can provide them some sense of comfort. No one should ever be targeted or threatened because of who they are. This kind of cruel and hate-filled terror has no place in our community and it won’t be tolerated.”

“Hateful and racist speech hold no place in our society,” said Anthony Galetti, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Seattle Division. “The U.S. Mail remains one of the primary means of communication and commerce in our country, and Mr. Franklin took advantage of that to spread hate and fear to his victim. We hope today’s sentencing sends a clear message that these kinds of mailings will not be tolerated and the U.S Postal Inspection Service will continue to work towards that mission.”

According to court documents, between December 2020 and May 2021, Franklin sent two threatening letters to a former community college professor of his whom he targeted in part because of her sexual orientation. The first letter contained a printout of what appeared to be a deceased, mutilated female. Handwritten wording above and below the image included racial and sexual orientation slurs and stated, “What I’d like to do to you.” The second letter contained another photograph of a deceased, decapitated female in a black trunk. The handwritten wording around the image stated that the photograph represented Franklin’s fantasy of what he wanted to do to the victim.

A forensic analysis conducted by the Oregon State Police Laboratory found Franklin’s fingerprints on the first letter. In May 2021, the FBI subsequently executed a search warrant on Franklin’s Eugene residence. Agents found and seized body armor, a boot spike, multiple knives, collapsible batons, a monkey’s fist flail, a set of brass knuckles, a 12-gauge shotgun shell, metal chain mail, and a black trunk like one depicted in his second letter. Agents also uncovered piles of literature and handbooks on death, dismemberment, murder, torture, and sexually-motivated killings.

As the investigation continued, authorities discovered evidence that Franklin was a white supremacist and may have been motivated by white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies. Open source and social media research revealed that Franklin was the administrator of a membership website called Aryan Folk. Investigators also discovered a Twitter account for Aryan Folk with a bio stating “I run a website for White Nationalist[s].” While searching Franklin’s residence, agents also discovered multiple photographs of Franklin with items and clothing bearing Nazi and white supremacist symbols.

On May 20, 2021, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned a three-count indictment charging Franklin with stalking and mailing threatening communications. On January 4, 2022, Franklin pleaded guilty to two counts of mailing threatening communications.

U.S. Attorney Asphaug, Special Agent in Charge Ramsey, and Inspector in Charge Galetti made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It was prosecuted by Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone with information about real or perceived threats of violence should call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. For immediate threats to life and safety, please call 9-1-1.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated April 25, 2022