A 19-year-old in Alaska is too dangerous to release, a federal judge declared on Tuesday.
Michael Graves stands accused of stockpiling weapons while publicly making threats that included expressing a desire to “beat Hitler’s kill count,” the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Here’s what we know
According to prosecutors, Graves had been posting incendiary and racist content on social media that included “Let’s beat Hitler’s kill count,” “A synagogue to shoot up tbh.” One tweet showed someone with a head injury with the words “The perfect treatment for Muslims. Fixes them up good and new.”
The same day the FBI received a tip about Graves’ social media activity, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol intercepted a package on its way to Graves’ father’s home in East Anchorage. Inside the package was a device capable of turning a Glock pistol into a fully automatic weapon.
In addition to this, a search of Graves’ home turned up two unregistered silencers and 11 firearms. A swastika and the number “1488” (a code closely associated with Nazi ideology).
Authorities charged Graves with possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a machine gun. According to the Daily News, FBI special agent Josh Rongistch said that the device that converts a Glock into a fully automatic weapon “is considered a ‘machine gun’ under the law.”
“We have a lot of people in our community who he has avowed he wants to shoot up or kill,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay said. She compared him to other mass murderers in recent U.S. history.
What does his lawyer say?
But Graves’ attorney Allen Dayan tried to paint a different picture entirely.
“As far as you know, he’s just a loudmouthed kid who likes guns and spouts off on social media,” Dayan argued, the Daily News reported. Graves himself insisted to investigators that the social media posts were meant to be funny.
“He couldn’t articulate a good response as to why that would ever be funny to anyone,” Rongistch said on the witness stand Tuesday.
Ultimately, Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith ruled Tuesday that Graves needed to be kept under house arrest.