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Man with neo-Nazi ties gets 3 years for bogus threats, swatting calls to a Virginia university

The sentence was less than the 5-year term sought by prosecutors but more than the 18-month sentence sought by John Cameron Denton’s attorney.
Credit: Alexandria Sheriff's Office via AP, File
This undated file photo provided by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office shows John Cameron Denton, founder and former leader of a neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen Division.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — A former neo-Nazi leader has been sentenced to more than 3 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to target a Black church, a Cabinet member, and more than 100 others with bogus bomb threats and 911 calls.

A judge in Alexandria, Virginia, imposed the 41-month sentence after ruling the actions of 27-year-old John Cameron Denton of Montgomery, Texas, should be considered a hate crime.

The sentence was less than the 5-year term sought by prosecutors but more than the 18-month sentence sought by Denton’s attorney.

Denton and others in the conspiracy targeted more than 130 people and places, including the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

Denton in particular targeted a journalist at ProPublica who exposed his role in the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division.