Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco deputies arrest Nazis near scene of 2006 neo-Nazi attack

NEW PORT RICHEY — Five "self-proclaimed" neo-Nazis were arrested after an investigation found drugs, firearms and Nazi propaganda in their possession, said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco.

Deputies made the arrests Tuesday afternoon after obtaining a search warrant for the home at 9240 Kiowa Dr. All five lived there in the same home in the Griffin Park neighborhood.

FROM 2010: Neo-Nazi John Ditullio gets life sentence in 2006 stabbings

Those arrested were three men and two women: and Michael Baun, 28; Steven Crumbley, 31; Alexander Nowokunski, 33; Gabrielle Price, 24; and Melinda Zalneraitis, 47.

Crumbley and Nowokunski are documented gang members, the sheriff said, but he would not identify those gangs.

Deputies are still looking for Justin Hopper, 28, who is wanted for possession of a stolen motorcycle.

"If they don't return to our community," Nocco said, "it's a better day for all of us."

The Griffin Park area has a history of hate groups going back more than a decade. In 2006, neo-Nazi John Ditullio Jr. was living in an American Nazi compound on Teak Street when he put on a gas mask and attacked the home next door. Ditullio fatally stabbed Kristofer King, 17, and wounded Patricia Wells. The neo-Nazis were infuriated that she had an African-American friend and that King and her son were openly gay, deputies said.

Ditullio is now serving a life sentence. The Sheriff's Office cracked down on the group and arrested several members. The Teak Street stabbings took place just a six-minute walk from the scene of Tuesday's arrests.

Nocco said those arrested Tuesday do not appear to be connected to the 2006 Neo-Nazi incident.

The sheriff described the Kiowa Drive home as a "cesspool" and said detectives could hardly walk through the place.

While searching the property, deputies said they found reams of American Nazi Family propaganda that outlined the rules, oaths and hierarchy of the group; 12 grams of methamphetamine; a small amount of unidentified opiates; drug paraphernalia such as needles, scales and spoons; hundreds of pages of miscellaneous bank account information and ID cards, including a military ID; and three handguns and a semiautomatic rifle.

Deputies also found a stolen vehicle on the property. They're still searching for another stolen car and motorcycle tied to the group.

The suspects allegedly stole identification cards from mailboxes, Nocco said, and then used those IDs to get credit cards. He said they likely traded the IDs and credit cards for drugs. The investigation is continuing.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said this particular group — the American Nazi Family — is not on its radar.

There is no evidence the five committed hate crimes or spread Nazi propaganda, Nocco said. He said they have lengthy criminal records and some have been to prison. The sheriff noted that prisoners often join white supremacist gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood for protection.

"They know they're going to prison again at some point," Nocco said, "so they keep up the ideology."

Nowokunski and Price both face charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, among other charges. Baun and Zalneraitis face charges of possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. Crumbley and Price both had outstanding warrants for grand theft.

All five were booked into the Pasco County jail, but their bail was unavailable.

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Laura Newberry at lnewberry@tampabayt.com. Follow @LauraMNewberry

Pasco deputies arrest Nazis near scene of 2006 neo-Nazi attack 08/09/17 [Last modified: Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102