LUBBOCK, Texas (Press Release) — The following is a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. A suspected neo-Nazi has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for a gun crime, 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. Appearing via video teleconference from the Lubbock County Detention Center, the defendant was sentenced today before U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix.
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 in which law enforcement officers 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.
In a detention hearing in November, prosecutors argued the government had reason to believe Mr. Bruce-Umbaugh is a member of AtomWaffen Division, a neo-Nazi hate group.
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.
Video released by the Court in February 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.”
AtomWaffen propaganda videos also admitted into evidence depict members of the Nazi group at self-described “hate camps,” spewing hateful rhetoric against Jews, practicing hand-to-hand combat and shooting firearms.
“Race war now!” they cry, before one displays a Nazi salute.
“The Northern District of Texas is committed to keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said after the defendant pleaded guilty. “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,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said then. “The FBI will continue working with our partners to protect the communities we serve.”
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. Attorney Stephen Rancourt is 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.
(This is a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas)