The founder of the Aryan Strikeforce, a white nationalist organization, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $1,000 in a drugs-for-guns scheme. The sentencing Tuesday in U.S. Middle District Court of Joshua Michael Steever, 40, of Manville, New Jersey, ends the prosecution of six strikeforce members that began three years ago. They were indicted as the result of an investigation initiated after the FBI received complaints about convicted felons attempting to obtain firearms in Potter County. The FBI infiltrated the strikeforce and with undercover employees arranged for four trips between Pennsylvania and Maryland in late 2016 and early 2017. Steever and the others thought they were selling drugs to obtain money to buy weapons for the organization that advocates violence as a necessary tool to achieve political goals. Instead of drugs, 16 pounds of imitation crystal methamphetamine were transported on each of the trips. Gun parts were included on one trip. Gift cards bought at Target with the proceeds from the “drug” sales were to be used to buy weapons. Steever had formed the strikeforce in 2013 after being forced out of another white nationalist group called the Aryan Terror Brigade, Judge Matthew Brann noted. He recruited members through the Internet and promoted the strikeforce’s views widely, the judge said. (…) Steever got the longest sentence of the six. Henry Lambert Baird of the Allentown area, the former president of the organization, received 14 years. The other defendants and their sentences were Justin Daniel Lough of Waynesboro, Virginia, 12 years; Jacob Mark Robards of Bethlehem, 10 years; Connor Drew Dikes of Silver Spring, Maryland., 4 years; and Steven D. Davis of Bumpass, Virginia, 30 months.

via pennlibe: Founder of a white nationalist group sentenced to 20 years in drugs-guns case

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