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Judge revokes bond for Navy reservist who praised Hitler

A federal judge ordered Hatchet Speed held in pretrial detention following his conviction on firearms charges in Virginia.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge revoked the pretrial release conditions for a Navy reservist awaiting trial on charges stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot last week following his conviction in Virginia for possessing unregistered silencers.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden ordered Hatchet Speed, of McLean, Virginia, held without bond after a jury in the Eastern District of Virginia convicted him earlier this month of possessing multiple silencers disguised to look like cleaning supplies. Speed was already in custody at the time, having been remanded by a federal judge in Virginia following his conviction.

The silencers were discovered during a search of Speed’s residence following his arrest on multiple charges for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021. Prosecutors allege the silencers were part of a more than $40,000 “panic buying” spree by Speed in early 2021. The purchasing spree allegedly included 12 firearms and the three silencers he was convicted of possessing.

“Speed later told an FBI undercover employee that the silencers could come in handy when he carried out a plot to hold ‘mock trials’ for and kidnap his enemies, starting with local targets, such as members of the Anti-Defamation League,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing earlier this month.

Speed, a petty officer first class in the U.S. Naval Reserves, was arrested in June last year on four misdemeanor counts and later indicted on a fifth felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding. He was released after his arrest on home detention and GPS monitoring and ordered not to possess any firearms, destructive devices or other weapons.

In charging documents, prosecutors said Speed told an undercover FBI employee he’d traveled to the Capitol with friends who were members of the Proud Boys and that going to the Capitol as “always the plan.” He said he’d entered the building in part because he’d heard former Vice President Mike Pence had “validated” certain ballots he considered “invalid.”

According to the affidavit, “SPEED described Pence’s act as a betrayal. SPEED stated that, at that point, he was like, ‘I’m going in there. Like I have no respect for people in this building. They have no respect for me. I have no respect for them.’”

Speed also allegedly made numerous statements praising the writings of the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph, the man known as the “Olympic Park Bomber” who was convicted of a series of bombings that killed two people and injured more than 100 others between 1996 and 1998. Rudolph’s targets, in addition to location of the 1996 Summer Olympics, included two abortion clinics in Georgia and Alabama and a lesbian bar in Atlanta.

Speed allegedly said he was reading Rudolph and Kaczynski’s writings, telling the undercover FBI employee, “So, it’s useful to get into these people’s heads and you know, try and come up with a better game plan than they had.”

The undercover employee said Speed also repeatedly expressed anti-Semitic beliefs and praised Adolf Hitler, describing him as “one of the best people that’s ever been on this Earth.”

Speed was scheduled to be sentenced for the silencers convicted in the Eastern District of Virginia on April 13. On Friday, Judge McFadden reset Speed’s bench trial in his Jan. 6 case for March 2.

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