A well-known neo-Nazi vlogger who loved nothing more than to dress up as comic book villains and call for genocide quietly pleaded guilty to several gun charges Tuesday morning.
Paul Miller, a 32-year-old Florida man, is better known by his audience of racists and online trolls as Gypsy Crusader. He had a sizable audience on sites like Bitchute and Telegram—sites well known for their lax rules about hate speech and violent rhetoric—where he would post racist remarks and call for violence. An FBI raid in March netted him three charges for possession of an unregistered firearm and ammunition and possession of a weapon as a felon.
He faces 30 years in prison upon sentencing.
In some of his videos, he partook in the popular format of trolling video chat websites that would set you up with random users like Omegle or ChatRoulette. In them, he would say racist or bigoted remarks to whoever he came across. He would, at times, do this in costume, a popular one being the Joker costume from the 2019 film, but in other cases, he dressed up in a skull mask with a kevlar vest with a swastika patch. In some videos he would brandish a gun and point it at the camera.
Clips of his videos gained popularity on the sites and many are still active. Images of Miller dressed as the Joker pointing the gun at the camera has become a popular meme both in and outside of the neo-Nazi community.
Earlier in the year, the FBI decided the man dressed as the Joker wasn’t joking and raided his home on March 2. The FBI found a stockpile of over 800 rounds of ammunition and an unregistered short-barreled rifle with the serial numbers filed off. The criminal complaint states that during the raid agents found pieces of the rifle disassembled across Miller’s house.
“Inside a dryer in Miller’s residence, authorities also discovered a lower receiver for a rifle, attached to a collapsible rifle stock, and disassembled from an upper receiver featuring a 10.5 inch barrel,” reads the criminal complaint. “None of these parts bore any manufacturer markings or serial numbers.”
Prosecutors said that Miller was actively planning for what he believed to be an upcoming civil war. In his interview, the complaint states that Miller admitted to owning the rifle but said he didn’t realize he was doing anything illegal and only owned it because he was “scared” of the people he trolled like anti-fascists.
“I'm living alone, I don't have anybody with me,” he told police according to the criminal complaint. “Somebody's going to, these people are trying to kill me.”
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Miller filed his guilty plea at a hearing on Tuesday. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the hearing, which was live-streamed because of COVID-19, was Zoom bombed by neo-Nazis and racists who filled the chat with slurs. The outlet reported that Miller became distressed and was worried the court would blame him for the disorder.
Miller’s time as a popular figure among the extreme right began in 2018 when he was involved in a fight following a Proud Boy meetup in New York City. In his younger years, Miller trained in Muay Thai, becoming the U.S. National Champion in the World Kickboxing Association but quit because of a car accident. Despite this history of martial arts, Miller was beaten up by anti-fascists and lamented to Newsweek, “they tried to kill me.”
According to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, from here Miller continued to grow his following and eventually gained 40,000 followers on Telegram and got tens of thousands of views on his live streams. Neo-Nazis attempted to use his popular channel to crowdfund Miller’s “extensive future legal fees” but said they were cut off by crowdfunding websites.
Miller’s schtick as a loud brash online neo-Nazi won him fans on the extreme-right but also netted him enemies—his Romani heritage did him no favours among the crowd either. Earlier this year, Miller was targeted by a swatting group which included members of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen. One member of the group even went to Miller’s house several times to scare him.
Miller has a past conviction, from 2007, for aggravated assault and drug possession. He remains in custody and will be sentenced in August.
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