WILMINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A former Camp Lejeune Marine that has been charged with a neo-Nazi plot to damage electrical infrastructure in Idaho has filed to have his indictments dropped, arguing that the charges against him are unconstitutional.
Jordan Duncan was indicted in 2020 after he and four other men were accused of shipping firearms and other equipment across state lines and conspiring to attack infrastructure in the United States.
Duncan was accused of gathering a “library of information” during his time as both a Marine, stationed in North Carolina, and as a military contractor, along with other ex-Marines.
The documents, filed Monday, cite a variety of legal reasons to dismiss the indictments against Duncan. The reasons are listed as “on constitutional grounds,” “failure to state offense” and specifically reference the First and Second Amendments.
What it says
The documents all enumerate what they claim is the insubstantial nature of his charges in the case. Duncan has been charged with conspiracy and conspiring to damage an energy facility.
Documents state that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was investigating after Liam Collins, one of the co-dependents, claimed he could get weapons without serial numbers, as well as silencers. They investigated the group, tracing money spent on the purchase of a firearm from Collins to Paul Kryscuk, who pleaded guilty in February 2022.
The men had met on the defunct neo-Nazi forum Iron March, according to indictments.
Kryscuk had been manufacturing the firearms, and Collins had been selling them. Duncan became part of the investigation, the documents claim, when a package was shipped by Shaun Corcoran (an alias used by Kryscuk) to Duncan’s younger brother’s address, and the FBI reported a Venmo transaction between Duncan and Kryscuk.
Sometime after this, Duncan relocated from Camp Lejeune to Texas and then to Boise, Idaho, where Kryscuk was living. The men would participate in “firearms training exercises” and had group chats where they talked about “hypothetical and ideological times in the future when ‘an army would rise up.'”
The court filing claims that these were not “plans for immediate danger” but statements about future hypotheticals.
“Many of the conversations and ideas exchanged would be considered racist, hateful, and deplorable by the vast majority of society. But they fall under the umbrella of protected speech and symbolic conduct protected by the First Amendment,” the document states.
The filing argues that while Kryscuk, described as “mentally unstable,” was found to have pictures of power stations and locations of power grid equipment, those did not belong to Duncan.
“The group’s ideals were alleged to be fascist, Neo-Nazi views, including allegedly wanting to establish a white ethnostate, overthrow the government, attract more people to their cause, install other members of the cause into office and high office, and create general chaos,” the document concedes but argues that this is all protected speech, not conspiracy.
The filing describes Duncan as “a man who found people who wanted to share and debate ideologies and engage in the exchange of ideas and ideals, and carry out training drills and exercises, as he is protected in doing under the First and Second Amendments to the United States Constitution.”
The allegations that the group was planning attacks were dismissed in the document as being “memes” or “darkly humorous images” or throw-away jokes. Other allegations of conspiracy are based in Duncan’s constitutionally protected ownership of guns, they argue.
Duncan was implicated by association with Collins and Kryscuk, but did not participate in their firearm manufacturing.
They are also seeking to dismiss the counts on the basis that incorrect information was presented to the grand jury. They say that the conspiracy that Duncan was charged in connection with began in the summer of 2019, but some of the evidence presented predates that time. Additionally, they are requesting one of the indictments be dropped over claims that North Carolina’s eastern court is not the correct legal venue for it, as the purported crimes did not happen while Duncan was a resident of North Carolina, according to the documents.
Duncan also claims a violation of due process and argues that laws that regulate the manufacture, sale and shipping of firearms violate the Second Amendment, making their enforcement unconstitutional.
The judge has not yet responded to these filings.
A sealed “plea agreement supplement” was filed for Liam Collins on Friday. Three of the five men had already pleaded or been found guilty. Duncans and Collins were slated to go to trial for their charges in March 2024.
In April, Jonathan Frost was sentenced to 60 months in prison and Christopher Cook was sentenced to 92 months in prison, both for a count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Both men will be under supervision for 30 years after release. A third conspirator, Jonathan Sawall, was ordered to be hospitalized.
The three men pleaded guilty to the plot to attack power substations in multiple states in February of 2022.
The indictment states that the men met online and began planning to attack electrical infrastructure around the country, with each man assigned specific ones. When they got together in Columbus, they graffitied a bridge at an area park with a swastika and the words “Join the Front.” Court documents indicate they were taken back into custody and had various electronics seized on Dec. 5, 2022.
In February, one of the founders of the violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, Brandon Russell, and his girlfriend, Sarah Clendaniel, have been charged with plotting an attack against the power grid in Baltimore, Maryland, with Russell being accused of sharing a YouTube video about the attack on Duke Energy substations in Moore County as part of the planning.
Substation attacks in North Carolina
The Dec. 3, 2022, shooting of two Duke Energy substations in Moore County is one of three separate incidents of substations being shot at in North Carolina over the span of a few short months with the first being on Nov. 11, 2022, in Jones County when 12,000 people lost power for a couple of hours after a Carteret-Craven Electrical Cooperative substation was shot. Then, on Jan. 17, 2023, an EnergyUnited substation was shot in Randolph County, but no one lost power. The FBI is offering thousands in rewards for information on these three shootings.
Two weeks after the Moore County shooting, at the beginning of Hannukah, a banner adorned with Nazi imagery advertising a Telegram channel for the “National Socialist Resistance Front” was unfurled on a highway overpass in Vass, and a second banner was found on Christmas in Cameron. The Telegram shown on the banner had numerous Nazi memes and graphics, including what appeared to be an image, posted just two days after the Jones County shooting, of a person’s silhouette in front of an electrical substation with the words “bring it all down,” a phrase that was also featured on the first banner.
The Moore County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that they were investigating these incidents separately.
No charges have been filed in any of the shootings.