Fear of shooting at work led to child pornography accusations against men in Portland

Last month, after an employee was part of a white supremacist group and received an anonymous hint suggesting that he was preparing for the collapse of society by buying a gun and surviving, he was in a workplace called the FBI. Portland business owner equipment for fear of shooting.

Former employee Andrew Hazelton, 28, is currently facing federal criminal accusations of possession of child pornography. This case seems to be the unintended consequence of the employer’s report and subsequent investigation. Hazelton was ordered to be detained without bail during a previous detention trial by US Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III on Wednesday.

Hazelton, who lives on Elmwood Street in Portland, was accused of being a “former member” by the New England branch of the white supremacist group on Monday. The leaflets have been posted around Portland for the past few months. He was first identified by an anonymous group of Twitter anti-fascist activists who scrutinized social media, monitored radical groups, and publicly expelled white supremacists and Nazi supporters.

The claim that Hazelton had a sexual interest in children dates back to a 2019 investigation by the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. The investigator successfully associated Hazelton with a sexual photo shoot from a 10-year-old girl. However, in that case, Hazelton was never charged, and it is unclear why Penobscot County investigators did not move forward using the information that led to the indictment against Hazelton.

The employer, who reported Hazelton, David Sawicki of Voice Teleservices in North Deering, calls the authorities after receiving an anonymous email image showing that someone is pointing a stun gun device at a colleague in his office. I made it. The image was released last month by an anti-fascist Twitter group.

Sawicki said he had planned to fire Hazelton due to low attendance before receiving the images, but was worried that he would return to his armed workplace. .. Sawicki then called the sheriff’s office and advised him to call the FBI. During a court hearing on Wednesday, a summary of the FBI’s interviews with Sawicki and other employees of Voice Teleservices was entered as an exhibit.

“It was definitely our office,” Sawicki said in an interview Wednesday about the photo sent anonymously by email. “To be honest, until I saw it (pictured), I thought,’OK, he’s eccentric.'”

Hazelton was known for making strange comments from his colleagues, but in recent months he has become more modest around the office, appearing many times late for work and feeling nervous. I saw. He was also telling others that he wanted to move “northward” so that he could be around more whites.

He told his colleague that he had been in a parliamentary riot in Washington, DC on January 6, and showed his colleague’s images and videos on his cell phone from the parliamentary grounds that day, Hazelton’s manager Tsinat Taffere. States as follows. Wednesday interview.

The act of exposing someone’s true identity and connecting it to an anonymous online persona without their permission is called doxing, a controversy of online groups aiming to bring real-world results to online actions or affiliations. It has become a brewing and sometimes dangerous tool.

In addition to being exposed online, Hazelton went out in his neighborhood. At some point in April, someone started posting a leaflet identifying him as a white supremacist on a telephone pole near his home near the University of New England.

“Get to know your local Nazis!” The flyer is a series of images of Hazelton, where he photographed himself in the mirror, and about him, including that he belongs to a group identified as NSC-131. I showed the complaint and read it.

“Hatred is not welcomed here,” concludes the leaflet. “Protect your neighbors. Don’t tolerate racists.”

This week, NSC New England, a local branch of NSC-131, expelled Hazelton by name.

“We fully condemn former member Andrew Hazelton,” NSC New England wrote in a statement posted on Telegram, an encrypted messaging platform with about 2,000 followers in the hatred group. I am. “If another person like this (Hazelton) joins our group, we know what you’re doing before the federal government does. They take you first. I hope that. “

A post by NSC New England was also linked to a Twitter account where Hazelton was first identified by name as a white supremacist neo-Nazi.

Hazelton Called On a Twitter account called Anti-Fascist Garfield, or Garf, its followers are watching the shadows of the Internet where militant groups are recruiting new members.

By monitoring accounts involving known white supremacists, Garf linked Hazelton’s identity to his online posts. In one image, which appears to have clinched an ID card, a screenshot of the account showed an online bank account containing the owner’s full name, Andrew Hazelton. Garf cataloged other posts with now unmasked accounts that sympathize with the idea of ​​white supremacism.

Other posts created by that account are clearly linked to Hazelton, and Garf shows that Hazelton is trying to radicalize his father, an elected official in his hometown of Westford, Massachusetts. Claims to be. They also show a Hazelton-linked account discussing collecting Nazi tools.

Hazelton’s mother, Susan Hazelton, hung up the reporter when she arrived at her home in Westford Wednesday morning.

During the hearing, US Federal Attorney Craig Wolf told them an image of a neighborhood flyer about Hazelton and that Hazelton was discouraged and committed himself between November and December 2020. You have entered a summary of an interview by a federal agent with a former Hazelton employer and a colleague. He bought a pistol sometime in January.

Hazelton’s lawyer, public defender David Benemann, argued that Hazelton had strong ties to the Massachusetts community and his family supporting him. They also attended the Zoom hearing. Benemann said Hazelton was recovering and took his mental health seriously, proposing additional bail restrictions that would allow him to be released.

However, Rich described Hazelton’s alleged interaction with the 10-year-old girl as “very serious” and found that he was in danger and should not be released.

After the hearing, Beneman did not call for an interview.

The link between the recent Hazelton FBI investigation and the 2019 allegations remains unclear.

The affidavits filed by the agents do not specify how they learned the previous investigation.

In that case, an investigator at the Penobscot Sheriff’s Office responded to a mother’s complaint that an adult man contacted a 10-year-old girl on Instagram and tried to seduce her to have sex with him.

According to court records, including screenshots of the exchange, the account associated with the adult man used the online handle “Hazelman93”, who used it by Andrew.

At the time, investigators at the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office found an account associated with “Hazelman 93” and used the Massachusetts license plate shown in one photo to drive the car to Hazelton’s mother. I tracked it. Penobscot investigators used information published on Facebook to identify Andrew Hazelton as Susan Hazelton’s son, and conducted an open-source investigation to identify Hazelton’s Facebook account on Instagram. Linked to the handle “Hazelman 93”. Investigator Penobscot, Sergeant Detective. Noel Santiago traced Hazelton’s address to South Portland.

However, it is unclear what further actions the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office has taken. The prosecutor said Hazelton had no criminal record.

Using information from the 2019 survey, FBI agents were given a search warrant for Hazelton’s cell phones and electronics on April 28, and the next day they robbed him of Hazelton’s phone and took home. I searched. On the phone, according to federal court records, they found a folder labeled “1488” containing a video of child pornography.

The agent took some guns from his room with his computer. However, according to his roommate Jonathan Gimont (42), they showed the newspaper to reporters along with Hitler’s autobiography and a small collection of Nazi readings, including vintage Nazis, vividly promoting the NSC-131 group. A tool containing a red arm badge with a swastika that left a pile of newly printed promotional leaflets in.

Gimont said Hazelton was quiet and almost always stayed in his room, using only the bathroom or kitchen, for about two years they lived with. He once saw a Nazi armband in Hazelton’s bedroom when he had to reset his internet router, and Hazelton looked down on people of color and Jews. I heard. But they never fought and left each other alone, Gimont said.

He sat on the floor when he got home from work last week and found the FBI in the hallway, hoping he could stay home now that Hazelton is gone.

“I told the landlord,’Hey, let me choose my next roommate,'” he said.