CONCORD, NH – Keene’s Crying Nazi, Christopher Cantwell, is going to federal prison for the next 41 months, though he asked to be released for time already served during his sentencing hearing on Wednesday.
Cantwell, 40, a white supremacist who hosted an internet radio show before his arrest by federal agents last year, was convicted of making interstate threats for threatening to rape the wife of another white supremacist during an extended feud he had with the group known as the Bowl Patrol.
His attorneys, Eric Wolpin and Jeff Levin, asked for leniency from Judge Paul Barbadoro. They argued Cantwell’s life was ruined by his notoriety as a white supremacist, which he admittedly cultivated as a way to make money.
“The last several years brought attention, which Christopher desired, but also a regular stream of violent threats, persistent mockery, and intense law enforcement surveillance. Since becoming publicly maligned, Christopher has oscillated between definitely embracing his public persona and wishing to escape it. During a dispute with others who embraced harsh online personalities, Christopher let anger and frustration drive his conduct,” the attorneys wrote in a sentencing memo.
Federal prosecutors John Davis and Anna Krasinski countered that Cantwell, who was convicted of assault at the 2017 Unite the Right white supremacist rally, needs to be punished. They wanted 51 months in prison for Cantwell.
“The defendant is a 40-year-old man with a history of advocating violence, flouting the law, and violating bond conditions,” the prosecutors wrote.
Cantwell has been in jail since his arrest for making threats against white supremacist Ben Lambert, known online as Cheddar Mane, and Lambert’s family. Lambert/Cheddar Mane is a member of a group called The Bowl Patrol,
Cantwell allegedly threatened to rape Lambert/Cheddar Mane’s wife, and call child protective services if he did not give up the real identity Vic Mackey. Cantwell even sent his then-girlfriend to Lambert’s home state where she took photos of his children, according to court records.
“So if you don’t want me to come and (expletive) your wife in front of your kids, then you should make yourself scarce[.] Give me Vic, it’s your only out.” Cantwell wrote. “Get a (expletive) life or you will lose the one you have,” Cantwell wrote to Lambert according to the new indictments. “you’re the one who is going to suffer cause you’re the one I can get.”
Vic Mackey has subsequently been publicly outed as Sacramento, Calif., resident Andrew Casarez, 27. According to J Weekly, the Jewish News of Northern California, Casarez lives in the suburb of Orangevale with his parents and grandmother.
Cantwell’s relationship with members of the Bowl Patrol was initially friendly until Cantwell started a new website the attempted to be more mainstream conservative and less white supremacist. Members of the Bowl Patrol considered Cantwell a “sell-out,” his lawyers write. That’s when they began a campaign to inundate his call-in radio show with prank calls. The Bowl Patrol callers also practiced “fedposting,” which means they made inflammatory statements on the show to garner attention from FBI agents, such as talking about desecrating the graves of FBI agents.
“Such federal law enforcement attention cannot be taken lightly. This case demonstrates the breadth of the government’s power when it turns its attention to investigating its citizens,” Cantwell’s attorney wrote.
In fact, starting in 2019, federal agents obtained a warrant to access Cantwell’s email accounts. He was also under surveillance at his home, according to his lawyers.
“The Government subpoenaed, obtained, and reviewed Christopher’s personal data from more than twenty sources, including financial institutions, social media providers, phone companies, and EZ-pass travel data. The FBI watched Christopher as he came and went from his house, using a ‘pole camera’ outside his residence to record his movements day and night,” they wrote.
Bowl Patrol members hacked his website and sent his readers emails indicating the Cantwell was a federal informant and that he supported having sex with children, according to his attorney.
Cantwell retaliated to the Bowl Patrol’s harassment contacting Keene police more than 50 times, threatening Lambert/Cheddar Mane and eventually talking to FBI agents, according to court records.
The Bowl Patrol is a group of white supremacists who elevate racist killers like Dylan Roof as part of their online ideology. The group takes their name from Roof’s bowl-style haircut. Roof is the mass murderer who shot and killed nine African Americans during a church service in Charleston, South Carolina.
Cantwell’s initial claim to fame took place in 2017 at the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He earned his nickname after he was seen in an emotional video reacting to news he was going to be arrested at the rally.
Cantwell was convicted in 2018 on two counts of assault and battery for dispersing pepper spray on counter-protesters in Charlottesville. He was given a suspended prison sentence, but ordered to leave the state of Virginia and not come back for five years. Krasinski and Davis wrote that Cantwell never took responsibility for the assault conviction.
“In e-mails to law enforcement, the defendant maintains that he was framed and that ‘faced with being judged for my politics by a communist jury, with a prosecutor proven willing to suborn perjury, I pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors at the last minute,’” they wrote.
The “Unite the Right” rally saw one counter-protester murdered when white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd, killing Heather Heyer. Fields pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.