The Washington Post

Already charged in Jan. 6 case, Navy reservist indicted on weapons counts

- BY SALVADOR RIZZO

A Navy reservist has been indicted in Virginia on charges of possessing unregister­ed firearms months after authoritie­s in D.C. charged him with breaching the Capitol with the Proud Boys extremist group during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

Hatchet M. Speed has been described by federal prosecutor­s as a heavily armed Nazi sympathize­r with a top-level U.S. government security clearance. Speed until recently worked with a U.S. defense and intelligen­ce cyberopera­tions contractor based in Vienna, Va., but resigned as he delved deeper into fringe ideologies, authoritie­s said.

An undercover FBI employee sent to befriend Speed said he spoke about using violence to further “anti-government and anti-semitic ideologies” and remarked that many “enemies” were clustered in the Washington area, according to court documents.

The FBI said Speed in private praised Eric Rudolph, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bomber in Atlanta, and also “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Adolf Hitler, whom he called “one of the best people that’s ever been on this Earth.”

Federal prosecutor­s in D.C. charged Speed in June with misdemeano­r offenses, accusing him of breaching the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrecti­on with the Proud Boys.

An FBI search of Speed’s residence found 13 firearms, seven silencers, evidence of three more unrecovere­d suppressor­s and 25 firearms belonging to housemates, according to court documents.

After the Jan. 6 attack, Speed went into a “panic” and made more than $50,000 in firearmsre­lated purchases, including a dozen pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles, prosecutor­s said.

A grand jury in Virginia indicted Speed on three counts of unlawful possession of a silencer for which he lacked registrati­on, according to documents unsealed Wednesday. If Speed were convicted, each offense would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Speed appeared briefly in Alexandria federal court and was released pending trial with the same conditions imposed by the D.C. federal court, including home detention with GPS monitoring and a ban on possessing weapons.

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Thomas Traxler and Amanda Lowe wrote in a court filing Wednesday that Speed was a risk to the community and noted that the D.C. court allowed only limited exceptions to his home detention, such as medical appointmen­ts.

A federal public defender for Speed, Courtney Dixon, declined to comment after the hearing Wednesday. Speed’s arraignmen­t is scheduled for Sept. 22.

Speed is not accused of violence, has no criminal history and retains Top Secret/sensitive Compartmen­ted Informatio­n ( TS/SCI) clearance, the government has said.

Speed, a petty officer first class, is assigned to the Naval Warfare Space Field Activity at the National Reconnaiss­ance Office in Chantilly, part of the U. S. intelligen­ce community, according to court filings. He previously worked as a software developer for a cyber analytics firm cleared for classified work for the Pentagon and other federal agencies, the FBI said.

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