A federal grand jury in Portland, Oregon, has indicted a white supremacist for mailing a noose to the president of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Lima, Ohio.
Following the indictment in Oregon, Daniel Lee Jones, 33, appeared in federal court in Toledo, Ohio, on October 20, 2009, for his arraignment on two criminal civil rights charges. The federal judge in Portland released him from federal custody to appear in Ohio. The U.S. Attorney's prosecuting the case decided to have Jones' initial court appearance in Portland, but his trial in Ohio.
Jones, a member of the American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), a small neo-Nazi group, is charged with using the U.S. Postal Service to mail a threatening communication, a package including a noose, for the purpose of intimidation. He also faces charges for interfering with a federally protected activity - the right to engage in public advocacy for equal police services for African-Americans.
Jones allegedly mailed a noose and racist literature to F.M. Jason Upthegrove, the African-American president of the Lima chapter of the NAACP on February 14, 2008. Jones is also accused of sending additional hate literature to other Lima residents.
Shortly before the alleged noose mailing, Upthegrove had publicly spoken out regarding a January 4, 2008, fatal shooting of an African-American woman by a white Lima police sergeant during a drug raid at her home. Upthegrove was vocal about the possibility of unfair treatment of African-Americans by Lima police. He also publicly condemned the racist mailings the ANSWP sent to residents of Lima following the shooting.
According to the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, which monitors the group's activities, the ANSWP bragged on its Web site in 2008 about sending racist propaganda to Lima residents after the shooting incident.
Among the terms of his release from Oregon to Ohio, the judge ordered Jones not to have any contact with Mr. Upthegrove or his family, not to have any contact with former or current members of the ANSWP, not to own or possess firearms, to appear at every court hearing, and to consent to have his computer monitored.
If convicted, Jones faces up to six years in prison and fines of up to $350,000.
The Lima police sergeant who fired the fatal shot in 2008 has since been tried and acquitted in Allen County Common Pleas Court on misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault.