Hatchet Speed, 41, a Navy reservist described by prosecutors as a heavily armed Nazi sympathizer with top-level US government security clearance was sentenced on Thursday by US District Judge Michael Nachmanoff in Alexandria, Virginia, to three years in federal prison for possessing firearm silencers that he did not register with authorities. The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said the black metal cylinders masquerading as gun-cleaning devices were sold online by Hawk Innovative Tech of Georgia.
The gun charges against Speed in Virginia are separate from charges for obstructing an official proceeding––the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress for certifying the Electoral College vote. He will be sentenced on those charges next month in Washington, D.C., and the sentencing guidelines in that case call for a term of five to six years.
The FBI initially said Speed praised the writings of Eric Rudolph, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bomber in Atlanta, and the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, a genius mathematician and domestic terrorist. Speed praised the jihadist efforts to wipe out Jewish people, and called Adolf Hitler “one of the best people that’s ever been on this earth,” saying “I really want somebody like Hitler to stand up and say, ‘We’re going to stand against this moral incineration that we’re seeing in the western world.'”
Judge Nachmanoff, who is Jewish, said Speed betrayed “everything he pledged to protect” and his extremist views and a considerable stockpile of firearms posed danger to society.
“It is difficult to understand how anyone could conclude that the Unabomber and Eric Rudolph and Hitler could be a positive influence on anyone, much less role models worthy of admiration and emulation,” said Judge Nachmanoff, and asked Speed: “You served your country honorably until you went down the path that led you here. So why? Why?”
The FBI investigated Speed for more than a year after the riot at the Capitol and discovered he spent more than $40,000 on weapons and ammunition after the insurrection, telling comrades he was preparing for the certain collapse of the government. He also owned a Make America Great Again hat with a hard interior shell that prosecutors said he wore to the insurrection.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas W. Traxler said at the sentencing that Speed “talked about wiping out the Jewish population,” based on Speed’s statements to an undercover FBI agent.
Speed was also involved with the Proud Boys, an exclusively male North American far-right neo-fascist organization that promotes and engages in political violence. Traxler noted: “He talked about studying Eric Rudolph’s and the Unabomber’s manifestos to come up with a better game plan than they had.”