POST, Texas — Local authorities and the FBI in northern Texas are investigating after two neo-Nazis from Washington state were stopped in a car with assault-style rifles and up to 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
One of the men was exposed in a recent series of KING 5 Investigators stories on the violent extremist group Atomwaffen.
Kaleb Cole, who has lived in Snohomish and Whatcom counties, is barred from possessing firearms because of an extreme risk protection order issued last month that required him to surrender all firearms.
Cole was behind the wheel of a speeding Ford Focus on Nov. 4, when he was pulled over near a restaurant in Post, Texas by two officers from the Garza County Sheriff’s Office.
A criminal complaint filed in the United States District Court of Northern Texas says Cole and his passenger appeared “nervous and fidgety” and the deputies saw “the handle of a machete or bowie knife sticking out of the middle console.” Both were also dressed in “combat/tactical attire.”
The lawmen summoned a drug dog, who found marijuana in the vehicle. A later search turned up an AR-15, two AK-47s, a handgun. Thousands of rounds of ammo were also found, according to court documents.
The case has unveiled yet another member of Atomwaffen tied to Washington state, 23-year-old Aiden Bruce-Umbaugh. He was in the passenger’s seat and claimed that the firearms and drugs were his.
Records show that Bruce-Umbaugh traveled with Cole last year on a European trip to visit various Nazi-related sites.
He was the mysterious masked partner posing next to Cole in a photo outside the Nazi death camp Auschwitz, which KING 5 included in a previous story.
Garza County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Bruce-Umbaugh on drug-related charges and learned that he is a suspected member of Atomwaffen.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Texas submitted a KING 5 story on Atomwaffen as one of its exhibits to convince a judge to detain Bruce-Umbaugh.
In a press release issued Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office said: “In jailhouse photo calls, Mr. Bruce-Umbaugh allegedly referenced his affiliation with 'the group' and discussed a photo of him and another Atomwaffen Division member at the Auschwitz concentration camp.”
Over the summer, the Seattle FBI sought a civil extreme risk protection order (ERPO) against Cole, arguing that he was amassing weapons and conducting firearms training “hate camps” in Washington state.
There is no federal “red flag” law, so agents turned to the Seattle police and City Attorney’s Office and the King County prosecutor. Those agencies form the Regional Firearms Enforcement Unit, which seizes firearms in ERPO cases.
Seattle police seized about a dozen guns from the home of Cole’s parents in Arlington in late September.
A spokesperson at the King County Prosecutor’s Office could not immediately say what the consequences will be since Cole was found in a car with several firearms.
It is unclear whether Cole is facing any criminal charges in Texas.
He told lawmen that he was "traveling from Washington state to Houston to 'meet with some friends.'"
Texas is one of a handful of states with known Atomwaffen Division cells.