A former US Army soldier accused of plotting to “physically remove” Black and brown people in several North Carolina counties is now facing up to a decade in prison after pleading guilty to a separate, gun-related charge, federal prosecutors announced.
Noah Edwin Anthony, 23, pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered short-barrel rifle during his Tuesday arraignment, a release from the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina said.
When the illegal firearm was discovered in March 2022, Anthony was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina as an intelligence analyst, according to records provided by the Army. He was involuntarily separated from the military in February 2023.
Anthony’s attorney, Christopher J. Locascio, declined to comment on the case when reached by CNN.
The illegal firearm – a 3D-printed rifle with no serial number – was found during a search of Anthony’s room after Fort Bragg officers found an unregistered “ghost gun” in his car during a random vehicle check, the release said. The ATF Firearms Laboratory later determined the firearm was shorter than 16 inches and violated the National Firearms Act.
A more thorough search of his car by Military Police uncovered an American flag emblazoned with a Swastika, “Nazi type patches,” two extended magazines and ammunition, it said.
The search of Anthony’s room also uncovered: White supremacist literature, t-shirts and patches; magazines for various firearms; and several electronic devices, the prosecutor’s office said.
On his electronic devices, investigators found evidence of “a preliminary self-titled ‘operation’” aimed to “physically remove as many of [black and brown people] from Hoke, Cumberland, Robeson and Scotland Counties by whatever means need be,” the release said.
He has faced no federal charges related to the alleged plot.
Anthony was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of possession of an illegal firearm related to the weapon violation.
After pleading guilty to the charge, Anthony faces up to 10 years in prison, the release said. His sentencing is scheduled for July 25, court records show.
Calls for comment to Fort Bragg about the incident have not been returned.
The case was handled by the US Attorney’s Office instead of the military judicial system due to initial concerns “over activity occurring in the community and potentially with other civilian actors within the community” and because Anthony was accused of bringing in items from off base, Don Connelly, a spokesperson for the office, told CNN.
Connelly noted their strong relationship with military colleagues helped to resolve the case.
CNN’s Elizabeth Wolfe and Haley Britzky contributed to this report.