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COPS KNEW THIS NEONAZI PREYED ON A CHILD FOR OVER 18 MONTHS BEFORE THE FBI ARRESTED HIM

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    by ABNER HÄUGE

UPDATE MAY 6, 1:11PM: This article has been updated to include information on another NSC member, Michael Moura, who was recently arrested and new information from Hazelton’s hearing on Wednesday.

ANDREW HAZELTON

On October 2nd, 2019, a mother used her ten-year-old daughter’s Instagram to message a neo-Nazi. She told him, “You fucking pedo do not contact my daughter again kill yourself.”

The same day, Penobscot County Sheriffs got a complaint from the mother. According to an FBI affidavit requesting a search warrant, she found her daughter’s “phone was going off.” She found a text exchange between her daughter and a man calling himself “Andrew” whose username was “hazelman93” and said he was 26. He asked the child for explicit photos–and got them.

The Sheriffs figured out that it was a South Portland, Maine resident named Andrew Hazelton. An antifascist collective called “Garfield but Antifascist” (Garf for short) figured out he was a member of a neo-Nazi group called National Socialist Club, members of which participated in the January 6th Capitol storming in Washington DC.

Penobscot County Sheriffs detectives found Hazelton from photos of his red 2002 Toyota Camry on his open Instagram page. He also posted a photo of “a vehicle inspection report from Joe’s Citgo in Westford, Massachusetts” that had his license plate and vehicle identification number. From there, they found the car was registered to his mother. They searched Facebook and found a publicly viewable profile for him with one of the same photos as he posted on Instagram. Further confirmation came when they found Hazelton, whose Instagram handle was “hazelman93,” was born in 1993. Garf used this information in conjunction with their prior intelligence on Hazelton to identify the man in the charging documents and the neo-Nazi group member as one and the same.

FBI agents approached Hazelton as he left his house a bit before noon on April 29th this year–almost 19 months from the day the mother called Penobscot Sheriffs. Hazelton handed them his Samsung Galaxy phone. Their warrant permitted the FBI to make Hazelton use the biometric thumbprint lock on his phone to unlock it. He refused at first, but eventually relented. They found child sexual abuse videos in a folder called “1488.” A motion of detention was filed the next day. He was charged with possession of child pornography, the sentence for which is up to 10 years in prison.

Hazelton was a member of the National Socialist Club (NSC), a neo-Nazi group whose propaganda often urges white men to “stop watching porn,” “reject degeneracy” and “kill pedophiles.” Hazelton isn’t the only member of the group to prey on young women. Steven Van Zelst Jr, another NSC member, boasted in chats about goading young women into sending explicit photos of themselves and self-harming.

“NSC and the people it attracts are a threat to communities, not just through neo-Nazi violence but also through disgusting acts of sexual violence, misogyny, and exploitation of children. These two things, it should be noted, very often go hand in hand,” the Garfield but Anti-Fascist collective wrote on Twitter.

The National Socialist Club, according to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), is “is reportedly one of the largest and most active neo-Nazi groups in the United States and has established a presence in Germany, Hungary, and Bulgaria.” Garf told LCRW that this claim is “a bit outdated, since it was way bigger and more active nationwide in the summer [of 2020] but isn’t anymore.”

“NSC has this odd strategy where they basically take preexisting fascist groups and just bring them together under their banner,” Garfield said. NSC Dixie, for example was formed out of the remains a Christian supremacist-flavored neo-Nazi group called the Legion of Saint Ambrose, who collapsed over infighting partially over allegations their leader had jacked off.

NSC was founded by longtime New England neo-Nazi Chris Hood in 2019, who previously worked with the Proud Boys-linked protest group Resist Marxism and the neo-Nazi terror network the Base. The CEP says the group is structured through independent chapters with a “loose network affiliation” to “avoid infiltration.”

Members of NSC claimed in Telegram chats that they were at the Capitol storming on January 6th this year. Chris Hood in particular bragged that he was there to “ensure white safety.” Members posted photos apparently of a riot cop’s helmet taken that day as a trophy.

NSC is no longer national, according to Garf, partially because of in-fighting over Hood’s attempts to “assert himself as leader” over the group’s otherwise semi-autonomous cells. Garf added that the group in New England continues to have a lot of influence and pose a threat to the region.

Hazelton talked in detail about his life on neo-Nazi Telegram chats. He talked about buying “vintage Nazi things,” pushing anti-Semitic conspiracies on his father, J. Scott Hazelton of the Westford, Massachusetts Select Board, and worries about “revealing his power level” (read: how much of a Nazi he is) to his roommate. He also often joined his fascist buddies in cheering on potential mass shootings and hoping for high body counts as news of them broke.

“We’ll see, if it’s true and only 4 dead he’s a f*****,” Hazelton wrote in a chat as a mass shooting in Orange County unfolded.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Hazelton offered to do firearms training for NSC members. As a young man he was part of the Massachusetts Junior Pistol Team and won sports shooting competitions.

“I can teach anyone, used to do it and had NRA training for coaching. 8 years experience competitively,” he wrote in an NSC chat.

On Telegram, Hazelton posted a photo of himself pointing a stun gun at an older co-worker whose back was turned to him and said he was “listening to Seige [on] audiobook at work.” Siege by James Mason is a neo-Nazi text that advocates for small cell and individual terror attacks against infrastructure like power plants and bridges with the goal of waging asymmetrical warfare against and collapsing U.S. society.

Details emerged Wednesday after Hazelton’s first appearance in court about how Hazelton was finally brought to court. In in FBI interviews, his former coworkers and boss said Hazelton had “become despondent and suicidal between November and December 2020, and he bought a handgun sometime in January.” Hazelton’s former boss David Sawicki of Voice Teleservices in North Deering, Maine, called law enforcement on him after antifascists emailed the telegram photos of Hazelton pointing the stun gun at his co-worker. According to the Portland Press Herald, Sawicki and others at the business thought Hazelton was “eccentric” but noted in recent months he’d become more reserved and nervous, often showing up to work late and telling others he wanted to move “up north” to “be around more white people. His nervousness might have come in part because antifascists flyered his neighborhood warning he was a violent neo-Nazi who is “trained and equipped with firearms” and “carries less-lethal weapons.”

Hazelton also told co-workers he’d been at the January 6th Capitol storming and showed them videos and photos from the day. Sawicki said he’d planned on firing Hazelton for poor attendance, but feared the Nazi would come back with a gun. When he called the Sheriff, they told him to call the FBI.

The FBI took several guns from Hazelton when they raided his home as well as his computer. According to the Press Herald, “they left behind stacks of crisp, freshly printed propaganda fliers touting the NSC-131 group, according to his roommate, Jonathan Guimont, 42, who showed a reporter the papers along with a small collection of Nazi reading, including Hitler’s autobiography and vintage Nazi paraphernalia, including a red arm band with a swastika on it.”

Guimont told reporters that he rarely interacted with Hazelton in the two years they lived together. He said Hazelton mostly stayed in his room, though he saw the Nazi armband once when he went to reset the wireless router in Hazelton’s room and overheard him saying racist and antisemitic things.

“I told my landlord, look, you’re letting me pick the next roommate,” Guimont told reporters.

Hazelton is a relatively recent recruit to the NSC. He was recruited from an affiliate chat in March this year, according to Garf. Being new doesn’t mean he was inactive however–he likely participated in a tiny march NSC had on April 11th as part of a nationwide campaign for “White Lives Matter” demonstrations by neo-Nazis on Telegram. Rallies nationwide were poorly attended.

Neo-Nazi groups and the broader far-right have a long history of both accusing their enemies of pedophilia and harboring pedophiles. Garf said that “the biggest point” of this is to emphasize these groups’ “hypocrisy and unwillingness” to apply their anti-pedophilia standards to their own members.

“The right is notorious for calling everyone they can a pedophile. Not only is it the basis for QAnon but it’s also a centuries old anti-Semitic trope still used today by neo-Nazis,” Garf said. “So they’re very quick to make fashwave edits that say “kill pedophiles” or call leftists pedophiles or something, but then when there are actually members of their own movement who are pedophiles they’re silent.”

Examples of neo-Nazi pedophiles abound. James Mason, the neo-Nazi ideologue behind Seige, was charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in 1994. UK-based neo-Nazi group National Action also multiple members hit with pedophilia-related charges.

“The bottom line is every instance like this makes it clear that they don’t actually care about helping or supporting victims of abuse and exploitation,” Garf said. “They just like to see the results of throwing around buzzwords.”

In response to his arrest, NSC expelled Hazelton on Monday, though they didn’t say specifically why.

MICHAEL MOURA

Hazelton isn’t the only NSC member facing recent arrest. On April 28th, Michael Moura, a New England neo-Nazi. Moura attended events with the National Socialist Movement, a successor to George Lincoln Rockewell’s American Nazi Party, and was photographed marching next to Mark Sahady of Resist Marxism and Straight Pride infamy, who is now facing charges over his involvement with the January 6th Capitol storming. According to the charging documents, the FBI began investigating Moura in December 2018 after his ex-girlfriend came to the Boston Field Office with rape threats he sent her under the alias “Matt Payne.” She got a harassment prevention order against him in October 2019. In November that year, she found her brake lines cut after coming back from a concert. Moura’s phone was searched a few days later and law enforcement found harassing texts he sent his ex-girlfriend. He was charged with Criminal Harassment and plead guilty in April last year.

A month later, the FBI alleges that Moura wanted to buy guns from an undercover agent. The FBI then allegedly convinced Moura to traffic counterfeit money and cocaine for them across state lines multiple times as payment for the guns.

“On the AR do you want it to go pew pew pew. Or BRRRRRRRT?” the FBI asked, according to charging documents.

“Pew pew” here means a semi-automatic rifle–one bullet per trigger pull–and “BRRRRT” means a fully automatic rifle–spray bullets until your finger’s off the trigger. Fully automatic weapons are strictly regulated and even well-behaved civilians generally can’t own them legally.

“Brrrrrt,” Moura replied. “whatever sounds better lol.”

The FBI agent writing the affidavit claims this means Moura understood he was buying a fully automatic rifle. Undercover agents sold him the automatic rifle, a Glock handgun that uses 40mm ammo and 9mm ammo to go with it–the wrong kind. After stashing the guns in his own car, Moura got back in the undercover agents' car and they drove to a bank.

“I’m trying to stockpile as much as I can because with this fucking administration you don’t know what the fuck is going to happen,” Moura told the undercover agent on the way to the bank.

“I don’t want to be on any kind of list because, you know what I mean, because when they try to confiscate guns, like, it’s all those kind of people,” he added.

The undercover agent got out of his car at about 8:52AM that day and he and the other agents who had been monitoring the exchange arrested Moura.

It’s unclear why it took law enforcement over 18 months to prosecute Hazelton, but the FBI’s access to his phone gives them access to the NSC’s networks. Given that he and other members were present at the Capitol storming and Moura’s weapons charges, more arrests of group members may follow.