WILMINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — One of several men charged by the Eastern District of North Carolina for an alleged neo-Nazi plot to attack power substations has pleaded guilty.
Court records indicate that on April 11, Joseph Maurino entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to manufacture firearms and ship interstate, and also pleaded not guilty for a count of the destruction of an energy facility.
The specific details of the plea are currently sealed, but Maurino had been indicted for two counts of conspiracy to manufacture and one count of destruction of an energy facility, charged along with four other men in an alleged plot that spanned from Boise, Idaho, to Camp Lejeune, according to indictments.
Maurino, a New Jersey man who served in the National Guard, was indicted in 2021 and accused of conspiring to supply guns to Paul Kryscuk, Liam Collins and Jordan Duncan, who were charged in October of 2020 and accused of plotting to attack the United States power grid.
At the time of their arrest, three of the men had moved to Boise, Idaho. Their charges came from the Eastern District of North Carolina, due to the fact that Collins and Duncan were both Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune. Collins was originally from New Jersey, while Duncan was from North Carolina.
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 more superseding indictments, he pleaded guilty on March 8, 2022.
In August 2021, Kryscuk, Collins, Duncan and Maurino received a third superseding indictment. They were charged with conspiracy to damage the property of a United States energy facility.
Recently, Duncan was denied access to electronics as the courts worked to set a trial date for him and Collins, documents indicate.
Hermanson and Kryscuk are scheduled to be sentenced in June.
Maurino’s sentencing is set for July 11, 2023.
In early 2022, three neo-Nazis — Christopher Cook, Jackson Sawall and Jonathan Frost — were convicted of plotting substation attacks. Unsealed documents indicate that Cook and Sawall’s bond was revoked in early December and they were taken back into custody and had electronics seized.
The co-founder of the neo-Nazi group known as Atomwaffen Division, Brandon Russell, was arrested and charged earlier this month after he and a Maryland woman, Sarah Clendaniel, allegedly shared detailed plans to attack electrical substations around Baltimore over encrypted chat apps with an FBI informant. Russell shared a video about the attack on Moore County’s power grid as informational material with that informant, court documents allege.
The American Futurist, a website that claims to promote “revolutionary fascist ideals,” responded to Russell’s arrest, stating that they believed “Brandon had his heart in the right place,” cautioning anyone reading to not participate or discuss conspiracies with anyone online.
There are still no suspects in the Moore County substation attacks in December 2022, the shooting of an EnergyUnited substation in Randolph County in January or the shooting of a substation in Jones County in November 2022. The FBI is offering rewards for information in all of these cases.
The ADL reports that antisemitic incidents are on the rise in North Carolina. A flag bearing Nazi imagery was left at a Boone temple and multiple banners advertising a neo-Nazi telegram channel were hung up in Moore County, among other reported antisemitic incidents.