Hatchet Speed, a U.S. Navy reservist already charged with breaching the U.S. Capitol with Proud Boys on Jan. 6, was indicted anew in Virginia for possessing unregistered silencers.
The indictment was made public on Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, just a few miles away from the nation’s capitol. The McLean, Virginia, man would have been able to keep his silencers legally in Virginia had he registered them, but without doing so, he has now courted three felony charges, according to the Department of Justice.
The unregistered weapon charges come in addition to four misdemeanor charges brought against Speed this summer related to his breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
An affidavit from the FBI agent handling the case said that Speed purchased no fewer than a dozen firearms between Feb. 11 and May 26, 2021. Those purchases included a 9mm pistol, a couple of 12-gauge shotguns and several other styles of firearms. The FBI said Speed was “panic buying” the weapons and laid out over $50,000 to purchase them in multiple states including Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, and Utah. When agents searched his McClean home this June, they found eight guns and seven silencers, court records show.
Speed once worked as a contractor focused on cyberintelligence and defense work in northern Virginia, a common job in a suburban community that is heavily populated by government workers and private contractors due to proximity to the Department of Defense, the headquarters for the CIA, and the FBI.
But as Speed became increasingly radicalized through extremist ideologies, he resigned from that work. An undercover agent who got close to him said Speed became disillusioned with the federal government and remarked that he once saw himself and his work as that of a “good patriot.”
“Speed states that the ‘last fourteen months’—which would have been since January 2021—had been an eye-opener,” the agent wrote in the recently unsealed affidavit.
Prosecutors say Speed revealed himself to be deeply entrenched in antisemitic ideology and often made comments praising domestic terrorists like the “unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber who set off explosives four times between 1996 and 1998. Rudolph ultimately killed two people over the years—including a police officer—and injured hundreds of others. It took authorities five years to capture him.
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Speed allegedly told the agent he didn’t think Kacyznski or Rudolph were “successful” because they targeted “rich people.” But he said he could “commiserate” with Kacyznski and Rudolph, nonetheless.
“So, it's useful to get into these people's heads and you know, try and come up with a better game plan than they had,” the agent recalled Speed telling him.
Court records show Speed was also laudatory of Adolph Hitler, praising the dictator who was responsible for the deaths of more than 6 million people as “one of the best people that’s ever been on this Earth.”
During one exchange with the special agent, Speed allegedly remarked that he “really wants somebody like Hitler to stand up and say, ‘We’re going to stand against this moral incineration that we’re seeing in the western world.’”
Espousing hatred for the Black Lives Matter movement and the antifascist “antifa” ideology, Speed also allegedly went on a tirade over the recent anti-lynching law signed into law by President Joe Biden.
People and those entities like the Anti-Defamation League that spend time advocating or pushing for laws like to be passed, he said, were “enemies.”
That law was only signed, he remarked, because “they know things are ... going to get bad enough, that people like us are going to band together and straight up start lynching people."
Court records also allege that Speed spoke at length about how kidnappings would be more effective than killings and “praised the approach of jihadists” and suicide bombers.
When Speed was arrested in June he was released on home detention and was placed under GPS monitoring.
The same conditions of release were sought in this new felony matter. He will be arraigned on Sept. 22.
Should Speed be convicted on the unregistered felony weapons charges, each charge poses a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. He is being represented by a public defender.
As a petty officer first class, Speed is assigned to the Naval Warfare Space Field Activity at the National Reconnaissance Office located in Chantilly, Virginia. He also obtained top secret clearance as well as clearance to review SCI, or sensitive compartmented information, data.