Weapons seized from alleged neo-Nazi leader in Washington state

Oct 19, 2019, 8:22 AM
The Seattle Police filed a petition and seized a small cache of firearms and gun parts from the home of Kaleb James Cole, according to court documents. Photo: Seattle City Attorney's Office

(CNN) — A man who Seattle Police say is the Washington cell leader of a neo-Nazi group isn’t allowed to own any guns for one year, according to a court order.

An Extreme Risk Protection Order filed on October 8 found Kaleb James Cole posed an imminent threat of harm to others. He has not been charged with a crime.

In September, the Seattle Police filed a petition seeking the order and seized a small cache of firearms and gun parts from his home, according to court documents.

Cole owned multiple handguns, an AK-47, as well as a concealed-carry firearm permit from Whatcom County, according to the petition for the Extreme Risk Protection Order. All the firearms were confiscated in September and the permit surrendered, court documents show.

In Washington and other jurisdictions that have similar so-called “red flag” laws, when a person poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to themselves or others by having firearms, family members or law enforcement can seek a court order to require that person surrender their firearms to law enforcement.

In the petition for the ERPO, Seattle Police described Cole as “a self-admitted member of the Atomwaffen Division,” which they call a neo-Nazi group, and alleged that Cole had recently participated in “training and recruitment efforts at organized hate camps'” in Washington state.

Police also cited an interview report filed by United States Customs and Border Protection with Cole as evidence of his views after he was detained by the agency following a trip through Eastern Europe in June.

In the report, CBP said Cole was in possession of an Atomwaffen Division flag and on his cellphone had a photo of people displaying Nazi salutes while holding the flag, and a photo of two people wearing bandanas over their faces standing in front of Auschwitz concentration camp.

The petition also referenced his lifetime ban from Canada as a result of his membership in “an organization that may engage in terrorism.” Exhibit One attached to the petition includes an extensively reported article from ProPublica on Atomwaffen Division’s ideology and beliefs, and names Cole.

“Our regional firearms enforcement unit likely prevented a massacre by someone committed to advancing a race war. Washington state residents should sleep a little easier knowing they have a team empowered to enforce firearm surrender court orders from those considered to be an extreme risk to public safety,” Dan Nolte of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office told CNN.

Efforts to reach Cole for comment were unsuccessful. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.

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Weapons seized from alleged neo-Nazi leader in Washington state