Military weapons seized from suspected neo-Nazi in Arlington

The suspect is reportedly the leader of a group inspired by Adolph Hitler and Charles Manson.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Police have seized military-style firearms from an avowed neo-Nazi in Snohomish County in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind case in Washington state.

KING TV reported Thursday that prosecutors and the FBI convinced a judge that “Kaleb Cole poses a serious threat to public safety by having access and possession of firearms and a concealed pistol license,” according to court records.

King County court records provided by a prosecutor’s office on Thursday said officers last month seized five military-style rifles, three pistols and gun parts from a residence in Arlington. The weapons belong to Cole, the suspected leader of The Atomwaffen Division in Washington state, the court records said.

Atomwaffen, which is a German for “atomic weapon,” is a small but extreme organization that seeks inspiration from Adolph Hitler and Charles Manson, who ordered mass murders to attempt to trigger a race war. Its white supremacist members claim they will not start the war but are arming themselves in preparation. Atomwaffen members have been charged in five murders in other states.

Authorities claim Cole has amassed firearms and trained with weapons in western Washington.

Cole isn’t charged with a crime but is named in a so-called “extreme risk protection order” filed earlier this month. The judge issued an order requiring Cole to surrender all firearms to the police.

KING 5 was unable to reach Cole for comment.

Online videos show Atomwaffen members firing guns and moving through rooms at “devils tower,” a graffiti-scarred building at an abandoned cement plant near the northwestern town of Concrete.

“This is a hate-filled human being but one who, unfortunately, possesses a large number of weapons,” said Holmes.

Documents filed in court show that Cole traveled to Eastern Europe in December of 2018 to honor the sites of some of World War II’s most horrific scenes.

Cell phone photos retrieved by Customs and Border Patrol agents when Cole re-entered the U.S. show him posing in front of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. In the photos, Cole is holding up the Atomwaffen flag at other locations, and other photos show him holding guns.

“Cole has been permanently banned from entry into Canada as a result of his (admitted) membership/affiliation with the Atomwaffen Division,” the Border Patrol report stated.

Earlier this year, the Seattle FBI approached Seattle/King County’s Regional Firearms Enforcement Unit operated by the Seattle City Attorney, King County Prosecutor, and Seattle police. Agents sought an extreme risk protection order to disarm Cole, but the federal government has no such tool.

“The fact is the federal government came to us. There’s no other mechanism like our firearms unit that’s in existence. There’s no one else in the state that’s doing this,” said Holmes.

It’s the first time the federal government sought an extreme risk protection order in Washington state, and it’s believed to be one of the first instances in the nation.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said the order to surrender guns is the right tool when law enforcement doesn’t have enough evidence to file a criminal charge.

Holmes said the case marks an important milestone since he started working with his domestic violence prosecutor, Chris Anderson, on the pilot project that formed the firearms enforcement unit.

That unit has now seized nearly 1,100 firearms since 2017, mostly from accused domestic abusers.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Work related to improvements at the intersection of Highways 9 and 204 will close a road and reduce lanes in Lake Stevens through Oct. 1. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Road disruptions starting around Highway 9 in Lake Stevens

Lane reductions and closures are part of the work to improve the intersection at Highways 9 and 204.

Rebecca Haskins (Everett Police Department) 20210913
Missing Everett teenager located

Rebecca Haskins had last been seen the morning of Sept. 4. Police reported her found Wednesday.

Jeremy Fuerst (Northwest Washington Synod)
Everett pastor dies while mountain climbing in Colorado

Pastor Jeremy Fuerst, 44, came to Central Lutheran Church in 2015.

Sultan police looking for tips after rash of car prowls

On Sunday, the department responded to 20 reports at Sportsman Park and trailheads near Gold Bar.

Arlington man allegedly killed by son is identified

Nicholi Melum, 63, had an argument with his son, Garner, last week and was shot.

State Supreme Court to hear case of Edmonds gun-storage law

In February, an appeals panel said state law pre-empts the city from enacting its own firearm rules.

Exterior of the Van Valey House on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett giving nonprofit museum historic Van Valey House

The Everett City Council agreed to transfer ownership of the Colby Avenue home on Wednesday night.

In this Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 photo made available by SpaceX, from left, Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux sit in the Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral in Florida, during a dress rehearsal for the upcoming launch. The fully automated Dragon is the same kind that SpaceX uses to send astronauts to and from the International Space Station for NASA. But the chartered flight won't be going there. (SpaceX via AP)
Everett man launched into space for 3 days of orbiting Earth

Chris Sembroski and three others will soar 100 miles higher than the International Space Station.

Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas is retiring at end of year, after -- years on the bench. The former Mariner High School student was its first ASB president, went to Harvard Law School, and as an undergrad majored in creative writing. Photographed at Snohomish County Courthouse on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Judge Eric Lucas, who broke barriers on bench, dies at 67

Lucas was the first Black judge elected to Snohomish County Superior Court.

Most Read