Crime

Man accused of threatening Miami Hispanics invoked Hitler, Nazis and Trump, feds say

A year ago, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clashed with counter protesters during a rally in Charlottesville, Va.
A year ago, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clashed with counter protesters during a rally in Charlottesville, Va. AP

A Maryland man will be extradited to South Florida to face trial on allegations that he threatened to massacre Hispanics in Miami.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday announced the arrest of 35-year-old Eric Lin, of Clarksburg, Maryland, who on Facebook appeared to be a devotee of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Lin was arrested in Seattle, and will return to a federal courtroom there on Monday as prosecutors seek to keep him behind bars before his extradition and eventual trial in South Florida.

Over months, according to the FBI, Lin sent an acquaintance in Miami hundreds of hate-fueled and racist Facebook messages spewing venom toward Hispanics. The alarming messages also professed admiration for President Trump, who has long been criticized by his opponents for fueling racial animus toward minorities, including Hispanics.

“Thank God everyday President Donald John Trump is President and that will launch a Racial War and Crusade” against minorities, Lin allegedly wrote in one message.

Following the deadly New Zealand terrorist attack, where 49 people were killed in two mosques, Trump said he doesn't think white supremacy is on the rise.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force began investigating Lin in July after Miami police forwarded the complaints of a woman of Spanish descent in Miami. Agents received over 150 pages of “pro-Hitler” and “anti-Hispanic” messages sent to her via Facebook’s direct messaging service, according to a criminal complaint by FBI agent Matthew Jones.

The woman told the FBI she knew Lin because he had once frequented the restaurant where she worked. At the restaurant, Lin had also talked about “mass shootings and idolization of Adolf Hitler,” according to the complaint.

He repeatedly threatened to kill or maim the woman, and even offered a man $10,000 to go “chain her up and put her in a Rubber made Plastic Bin,” the FBI said. “You don’t need to kill her ... at most you will be charged with Kidnapping. Nothing will happen to you if you get the Right lawyers,” he wrote to the man, according to the complaint.

Lin is charged with transmitting interstate communications threats to injure.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office have arrested 25-year-old Tristan Wix, a Daytona Beach man, after they retrieved text messages that showed his plans to shoot at a large crowd, saying, “a school is a weak target.”

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