WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A former employee of a Triad sheriff’s office and member of the North Carolina Army National Guard had strong ties to white nationalist extremist groups and even claimed former membership in the Ku Klux Klan. 

Christopher Woodall, 34, of Winston-Salem, said that he didn’t see a problem with having “a white-friendly group of people that get together and teach each other” after promoting what Green describes as “white nationalist training groups” online, according to an investigation by Jordan Green of Raw Story, a left-leaning online publication. Some of these white nationalist activities took place while Woodall was serving in the military and working at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. 

Woodall was described as a member of the North Carolina Army National Guard until as recently as April. Guidance of the US Department of Defense forbids any military personnel from “actively advocating supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes or actively participating in such organizations.” 

Through social media activity and speaking in an interview with Raw Story, Woodall said he had participated in organizations like the KKK, National Socialist Movement, and a North Carolina chapter of the American Guard

No specific sub-group of the KKK was referenced in his messages, but the ADL’s HEAT Map data indicates that groups like East Coast Knights, Knights Party, The Knights and Loyal White Knights had some presence across North Carolina between 2017-2022. 

Woodall separated from the NC Army National Guard in April at the conclusion of a contract and went into the US Army Reserve Control Group, according to a spokesperson, though Woodall disputed that. When the spokesperson was informed of Woodall’s nationalist ideology, he said that he would address it with “those that need to know that information.” 

Raw Story writes that Woodall was also an employee of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, working as a detention officer in the Greensboro jail from September 2020 through February 2022, voluntarily resigning from that position because he didn’t like how he was treated. 

Sheriff Danny Rogers shared a statement in response to inquiries about Woodall’s tenure with the sheriff’s office, stating that they had not heard any allegations of Woodall’s beliefs prior to Raw Story’s inquiry.

“The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is, however, a racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse organization and condemns any type of discrimination based on those factors.”

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office

He had been suspended from the sheriff’s office for a week in 2021 after he was accused of getting into a fistfight during a road rage incident. He was charged with misdemeanor simple affray. The charges were later dismissed, according to the report.

Woodall reportedly used Telegram to try and start a group in North Carolina dedicated to training for when “SHTF,” an acronym for “s— hits the fan,” at a property in Reidsville, according to the report. Woodall said that, to him, SHTF is “a generalization for a societal collapse.” He also had a TikTok channel where he used nationalist slogans and shared videos, including a video of four men in tactical gear firing assault-style rifles.

Extremism in North Carolina

Woodall isn’t the first military member in North Carolina to have ties to explicitly racist movements. In 2020, five alleged neo-Nazis were arrested in Idaho on charges of plotting to attack electrical substations. 

Several of those men were from North Carolina or had been stationed at Camp Lejeune, and allegedly used information and weapons accessed during their time there in the implementation of their planning. 

Three of the five men have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing while a trial date has been set for the remaining two men.

In December 2022, just two weeks after two Moore County substations were shot into, plunging thousands into darkness for multiple days, neo-Nazi banners were hung on Moore County highway overpasses, one at the start of Hannukah and another found on Christmas Day, both advertising a Telegram channel for the National Socialist Resistance Front, a name connected to the Atomwaffen Division or the National Socialist Order, a violent neo-Nazi group.

One of the founders of the Atomwaffen Division, Brandon Russell, was arrested in March for plotting an attack on the electrical infrastructure of Baltimore with a woman identified as his girlfriend. He explicitly referenced the attack on Moore County, according to the indictment.

ADL’s HEAT Map indicates there have been 86 reported antisemitic or other hate-motivated incidents in the first half of 2023, including the distribution of propaganda, graffiti or demonstrations. The map is updated monthly, so that number does not yet include the distribution of dozens of Goyim Defense League flyers in a Raleigh neighborhood earlier this month.