The northeastern U.S. group that recently separated Marine Liam Montgomery Collins, 21, was allegedly recruiting for would be a “legitimate” paramilitary force ― one he described as “a modern day SS.”
Collins often frequented the “neo-Nazi and White Supremacy Extremist” web board Iron March, prosecutors said in court documents unsealed Friday.
“Everyone [in the group] is going to be required to have served in a nation’s military, whether US, UK, or Poland,” Collins allegedly wrote on the site in 2016 under the screenname Niezgoda. “Its a goal for the longterm. I’ll be in the USMC for 4 years while my comrades work on the groups physical formation. . . .It will take years to gather all the experience and intelligence that we need to utilize – but that’s what makes it fun. It takes a man’s willpower and heart to make a commitment like this.”
Collins along with Paul James Kryscuk, 35, Jordan Duncan, 26, and Justin Wade Hermanson, 21, were charged in a superseding indictment obtained in federal court in North Carolina.
In addition to communicating with Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, about illegal firearms sales, the group allegedly discussed shooting protesters after scouting a Black Lives Matter rally and had participated in live-fire weapons training where participants displayed Nazi symbols, prosecutors said in court documents unsealed Friday.
Collins and Duncan are Marine veterans previously assigned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, while Hermanson is a current Marine in the unit to which Collins was last assigned, according to the new indictment.
Collins was separated from the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in September after just three years, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
“Collins’ premature discharge is indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards,” said Capt. Joe Butterfield, a Marine spokesman, told Task & Purpose in October. “Due to the associated administrative processes, further details are not releasable.”
While the firearms charges against Duncan, Collins and Kryscuk were previously disclosed, Friday’s release represents the first time prosecutors referred to the group’s “ties to white supremacy.”
The indictment also states that Duncan and Kryscuk praised Collins for acquiring “tons of gear and training” and adding three Marines to their group. Hermanson allegedly coordinated purchases for Kryscuk, communicating with other Marines in the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, area regarding illegal firearms sales and building fully automatic rifles.
Hermanson allegedly also vetted and recruited at least one other person into the group in October, according to the indictment.
Attorneys who represented Duncan, Collins and Kryscuk during proceedings in the case in Idaho didn’t immediately respond to emails asking if they were still involved in the case or could comment on the latest developments.
Don Connelly, a spokesman for the Raleigh, North Carolina, based federal prosecutor’s office, said in an email that he didn’t have further information on attorneys representing the four men.
The indictment said Collins and Kryscuk eventually would discuss the three steps they felt were necessary to effect the change in the country they were seeking, including “knocking down The System, mounting it and smashing (its) face until it has been beaten past the point of death.”
“Second order of business . . . is the seizing of territory and the Balkanization of North America,” Kryscuk wrote in February 2017, according to authorities. “Buying property in remote areas that are already predominantly white and right leaning, networking with locals, training, farming, and stockpiling. Essentially we are laying the framework for a guerilla organization and a takeover of local government and industry.”
“As time goes on in this conflict, we will expand our territories and slowly take back the land that is rightfully ours. … As we build our forces and our numbers, we will move into the urban areas and clear them· out. This will be a ground war very reminiscent of Iraq as we will essentially be facing an insurgent force made up of criminals and gang members,” Kryscuk allegedly wrote.
Iron March shut down in late 2017, according to a DOJ news release.
From May 2019 to now, the indictment said, Collins allegedly made multiple money transfers through his personal account to Kryscuk to buy firearms, including a 9 mm pistol and suppressor and a short barrel rifle. Kryscuk then allegedly purchased items from vendors to make the firearms and suppressors.
Kryscuk allegedly used an alias in mailing the manufactured weapons from Idaho to Jacksonville, North Carolina, the indictment said. He also shipped the short barrel rifle, not registered as required by the federal government, to Collins. Duncan, a military contractor, and Hermanson, currently a Marine, knew of and were in on the conspiracy, prosecutors said.
Collins and Kryscuk allegedly recruited additional members, including Duncan and Hermanson, and conducted training, including a live-fire training in a desert area near Boise, Idaho, according to the indictment. Kryscuk, Duncan and others produced a montage that showed participants firing short barrel rifles and other assault-type rifles, the news release said that from video footage allegedly recorded by the members during the training.
The end of the video, according to court documents, shows the four participants outfitted in skull masks and giving the “Heil Hitler” sign, beneath the image of a black sun, a Nazi symbol. The last frame bears the phrase, “Come home white man.”
The indictment also described how Kryscuk allegedly was within sight of a Black Lives Matter rally on the campus of Boise State University on July 21, initially sitting in his vehicle before driving slowly around the rally for approximately 20 minutes. One month later, Black Lives Matter held another protest in downtown Boise and Kryscuk’s vehicle was in the vicinity for around six minutes, the indictment said.
Shortly afterward, Kryscuk and Duncan allegedly discussed the idea of their group shooting protesters in Boise, prosecutors wrote.
“Those seeking to cause violence are not welcome in our city. The Boise Police Department is committed to rooting out anyone, from any background and any viewpoint, who would do harm or sow fear in our community,” said Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee in a statement to local news.
The Associated Press writer Jonathan Drew and Marine Corps Times editor Andrea Scott contributed to this report.