The Queen Creek resident who had a Hitler-era Nazi uniform is being investigated for plotting to commit hate crimes against local journalists.
Court records released earlier this week provide new insights into the FBI’s case against a Queen Creek resident who has been accused of plotting terror attacks against journalists and political activists.
Federal agents arrested Johnny Roman Garza on Feb. 26, along with three other members of a U.S.-based neo-Nazi terrorist organization for plotting to intimidate various journalists and activists. Garza’s attorney told the courts that the 20-year-old had been working to reduce or eliminate his involvement in the group at the time of his arrest.
However, investigators found no evidence that Garza had plans to leave the group, court documents show. Instead, government officials found a trove of Nazi paraphernalia in the defendant’s possession. Some of the items uncovered include Swastika-adorned posters, screensavers, clothing, and even a Nazi uniform.
“Defendant was involved in the planning and execution of a plot to terrorize others. Although no firearms or destructive devices were connected to Defendant, his active participation in a plan to threaten others is a significant concern,” the document said.
Garza is also accused of harassing a number of local journalists. In both instances, victims claim Garza found the address to their personal residence, where they found hateful and intimidating messages.
In an interview with The Arizona Republic, Arizona Jewish Life Editor Mala Blomquist said Garza glued a poster with intimidating messages and imagery on her bedroom window. “Your Actions Have Consequences,” the poster said, and “you have been visited by your local Nazis.”
A member of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists also said Garza went to the individual’s home on Jan. 25.
Garza has been in custody since his arrest due to concerns that he could become a danger to the community if released before trial.
While Garza was deemed a low risk to flee the country, the court said he would present a danger to the community if released and was therefore kept in custody.
No date has been set for trial, but court records show that Garza has been ordered to appear before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.