Documents reveal Neo Nazi sympathizer may have planned to bomb synagogue, other buildings

Judge considers bail for man found with explosives
Posted at 7:17 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 20:41:11-04

A judge decided he needed more time on Tuesday before okaying the release of the self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi accused of storing explosive material inside his apartment.

Twenty-one-year-old Brandon Russell appeared in federal court where he faces charges for owning explosive materials. 

RELATED: Confessed neo-Nazi accused of storing bomb-making material in Tampa apartment

Investigators found the explosive materials inside his garage on the night that his roommate, 18-year-old Devon Arthurs confessed to killing their other two roommates, saying they disagreed with his new Islam faith.

In court, prosecutors argued that Russell's release poses a significant risk of serious harm to the community.

Investigators found highly explosive chemicals, including a blasting agent inside a package addressed to Russell, who recently returned home from the National Guard.

They also found Neo-Nazi propaganda and a framed picture of Timothy McVeigh inside his bedroom.

Deputies arrested Russell two days after Arthurs told police he'd killed their two roommates Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneshuk after they disagreed with his new faith in Islam.

Prosecutors showed video of a Tampa Police detective interviewing Arthurs just hours after his arrest and the murders of his roommates in court. 

In the video, Arthurs told the detective "If I hadn't shut this organization down, a lot more people would be dead."

The detective then asked him if he thinks he shut the organization down by killing Himmelman and Oneshuk, to which Russell responded, yes.

Arthurs told him Russell was the leader of the group, adding, “They know exactly how to build bombs.”

He said the group is called Atomwaffen, led by Russell, describing the group as a terrorist organization, with Neo-Nazi beliefs.

He said the things that Russell was planning were “horrible”, saying he planned on bombing synagogues and going to Alligator Alley where he would put explosives along the road to blow it up.

He also said Russell planned to fire nuclear material into a nuclear plant off the coast of Miami.

“Think of BP Oil Spill,” he told the detective, “except it wipes out parts of the entire Eastern seaboard.”

Russell’s attorney questioned Arthurs credibility as a witness, saying that he said that just hours after confessing to killing his two roommates and that he was using that as a way to justify the killings.

He called Arthurs delusional.

The judge told prosecutors that while the arguments made by the video were compelling, he thought the conditions he was setting for the bail would deter Russell from causing any harm.

The conditions include living with his grandmother in Orlando, no access to internet or cellular devices and wearing a tracking monitor among other things.

The judge ultimately decided he’ll need more time before ruling on whether Russell can be released on a $200,000 bond.

After court, Ian Goldstein, Russell’s attorney told reporters he thinks the conditions on the bond are enough and that the allegations of his client’s intent to use the explosive materials to cause harm are unfounded.

“He had these materials for over two years,” he said, “and never used them, never planned to use them and there’s no evidence that he ever planned to use them.”