A Florida U.S. Magistrate said a Neo-Nazi who admitted to being capable of making a bomb was not a threat, and ruled he can be released on bond Friday. (June 9)
Investigators found guns and ammunition inside Brandon Russell’s home along with a framed photo of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on his dresser, yet Judge Thomas McCoun III doesn’t think there’s “clear and convincing evidence” Russell is a threat to the community.
The 21-year-old was charged in May 2017 with unlawful storage of explosive materials and possession of unregistered destructive devices. Federal officials learned of Russell through his roommate, former Neo-Nazi Devon Arthurs. Arthurs, who has reportedly converted to Islam, is in jail for killing his other two roommates who he said disrespected his faith.
Arthurs told authorities that all four of them shared a Tampa apartment as well as a Neo-Nazi belief, prior to him converting. According to The Washington Post, Arthurs was arrested May 19 after police found his roommates Jeremy Himmelman, 22 and Andrew Oneschuk, 18 with gunshot wounds to the head and upper body. Russell, according to court records, was outside crying.
After searching the property, authorities found bomb making materials and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HTMD) in the garage. Russell admitted he’s a white nationalist but would use the HTMD when he was a student at the University of South Florida in 2013 to boost DIY rockets.
Russell also told authorities he purchased two hunting riffles and ammo in his hometown of Hammond, FL and while the judge said the purchases were concerning, he did not think it was enough to deny Russell bond. Prosecutors requested he bail be postponed for three days in hopes to submit another motion to change Judge McCoun’s mind.