WILMINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A former Marine has entered a guilty plea after being indicted for several counts connected to a neo-Nazi plot to attack US energy infrastructure allegedly conceived during his time at Camp Lejeune.
On Tuesday, court records indicate that Liam Montgomery Collins entered a guilty plea to a charge of interstate transportation of a firearm not registered as required. He pleaded not guilty to a count of conspiracy to manufacture firearms and ship interstate, another charge of interstate transport and a charge of destruction of an energy facility.
The plea agreement documents are currently sealed by the court.
Collins will be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2024, according to records.
In October 2020, Liam Collins, Paul Kryscuk and Jordan Duncan were charged with conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture, possess and distribute various weapons and weapon accessories. At the time of their arrest, the three men lived in Boise, Idaho. All of the charges came from the Eastern District of North Carolina. Collins and Duncan were both Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune. Collins was originally from New Jersey, while Duncan was from North Carolina.
Documents filed by Duncan in August state that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was investigating after Collins claimed to the other defendants that he could get weapons without serial numbers, as well as silencers. Investigators traced money spent on the purchase of a firearm from Collins to Kryscuk, who pleaded guilty in February 2022.
In November 2020, Justin Wade Hermanson, a North Carolina man who was in the same Marine unit as Collins at Camp Lejeune, was charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture firearms and ship interstate. After two superseding indictments, he pleaded guilty on March 8, 2022.
In June of 2021, Joseph Maurino, a New Jersey National Guardsman, was also indicted, accused of supplying untraceable guns to the other men.
In August 2021, Kryscuk, Collins, Duncan and Maurino received a third superseding indictment. They were charged with conspiracy to damage property of a United States energy facility.
Maurino pleaded guilty in April 2023.
The indictment alleges that the four men researched and discussed at length a previous attack on power infrastructure by an unknown group, using assault-style rifles. The indictment alleges that for three years, between 2017 and 2020, Kryscuk manufactured guns and Collins, stationed at Camp Lejeune at the time, stole military gear and had them delivered to the other men. Duncan gathered “a library of information,” some military-owned, about weapons, toxins and explosives.
Documents also go into detail about how Collins and Kryscuk met on “Iron March,” a now-defunct forum for neo-Nazis to organize and recruit. They moved to encrypted messaging to talk outside of the forum, allegedly recruiting the other three accused men.
Video footage obtained shows the men shooting guns, wearing “AtomWaffen-masks” while giving Nazi salutes, according to court documents and first shared by RawStory. The phrase “come home white man” is seen in the video.
Supposedly, Collins and Duncan moved from North Carolina and Texas respectively to Boise where Kryscuk relocated in 2020 in order to be closer to him.
In documents filed in August, Duncan argued to get charges against him dismissed “on constitutional grounds” and for “failure to state offense,” specifically referencing the First and Second Amendments.
Duncan is still awaiting trial, while the other four men are awaiting sentencing.
In April, Jonathan Frost was sentenced to 60 months in prison, and Christopher Cook was sentenced to 92 months in prison, both for a count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Both men will be under supervision for 30 years after release. A third conspirator, Jonathan Sawall, was ordered to be hospitalized.
The three men pleaded guilty to the plot to attack power substations in multiple states in February of 2022.
The indictment states that the men met online and began planning to attack electrical infrastructure around the country, with each man assigned specific locations. When they got together in Columbus, they graffitied a bridge at an area park with a swastika and the words “Join the Front.” Court documents indicate they were taken back into custody and had various electronics seized on Dec. 5, 2022.
In February, one of the founders of the violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, Brandon Russell, and his girlfriend, Sarah Clendaniel, were charged with plotting an attack against the power grid in Baltimore, Maryland, with Russell being accused of sharing a YouTube video about the attack on Duke Energy substations in Moore County as part of their planning.
Substation attacks in North Carolina
The Dec. 3, 2022, shooting of two Duke Energy substations in Moore County is one of three separate incidents of substations being shot at in North Carolina over the span of a few short months with the first being on Nov. 11, 2022, in Jones County when 12,000 people lost power for a couple of hours after a Carteret-Craven Electrical Cooperative substation was shot. Then, on Jan. 17, 2023, an EnergyUnited substation was shot in Randolph County, but no one lost power. The FBI is offering thousands in rewards for information on these three shootings.
One person died as a direct result of the Moore County power outage, a death that the medical examiner ruled a homicide.
Two weeks after the Moore County shooting, at the beginning of Hannukah, a banner adorned with Nazi imagery advertising a Telegram channel for the “National Socialist Resistance Front” was unfurled on a highway overpass in Vass, and a second banner was found on Christmas in Cameron. The Telegram shown on the banner had numerous Nazi memes and graphics, including what appeared to be an image, posted just two days after the Jones County shooting, of a person’s silhouette in front of an electrical substation with the words “bring it all down,” a phrase that was also featured on the first banner.
The Moore County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that they were investigating these incidents separately.
No charges have been filed in any of the shootings.