(CNN)Four people with alleged ties to a neo-Nazi group known as Atomwaffen Division have been arrested after authorities said they conspired to harass journalists and people affiliated with the Anti-Defamation League.
4 people with alleged ties to neo-Nazi group charged with planning to harass journalists and activists
The group focused on targets who were Jewish or people of color, according to the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington, and sent them threatening posters to intimidate them.
The arrests came the same day a fifth individual -- said to be Atomwaffen Division's former leader -- was arrested in Virginia for allegedly harassing a member of President Trump's Cabinet, journalists and a university.
According to the office of US Attorney Brian T. Moran, 24-year-old Cameron Brandon Shea of Redmond, Washington; 24-year-old Kaleb Cole of Montgomery, Texas; 20-year-old Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe of Spring Hill, Florida; and 20-year-old Johnny Roman Garza of Queen Creek, Arizona, face charges of conspiracy to mail threatening communications and commit cyberstalking.
An attorney for Shea has not responded to a request for comment. CNN has been unable to determine whether the other defendants had attorneys who would comment on their behalf.
More charges could be coming, Moran said.
"It's a starting line," he said at a news conference, "not a finishing line."
Using an encrypted online chat group, the defendants allegedly identified journalists and activists they wanted to intimidate, focusing on those who were Jewish or people of color, Moran's office said. The group collected personal information on the journalists and activists, including their home addresses, the office said.
According to the criminal complaint, Cole and Shea created threatening posters that included images of swastikas and people with guns and Molotov cocktails. One poster carried the message, "We Know Where You Live."
The posters were shared with other Atomwaffen members, who printed and delivered or mailed them to the alleged targets, Moran's office said, including a TV reporter in Seattle who had reported on the group and two people with the ADL. A journalist in Tampa was also targeted, but the poster was delivered to the wrong address. Another poster was delivered to a magazine journalist in Phoenix.
"These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities," Moran said in a statement. "As Attorney General William Barr has made clear, rooting out anti-Semitic hate and threats of violence and vigorously prosecuting those responsible are top priorities for the Department of Justice."
A fifth person affiliated with the Atomwaffen Division, John Cameron Denton, was arrested Wednesday in Virginia, the office of US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger announced.