NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - The Pasco County Sheriff raided a home in New Port Richey and arrested five self-proclaimed neo-Nazis for illegal possession of drugs, guns, stolen IDs, and credit cards, Sheriff Chris Nocco said Wednesday.
"You say those words neo-Nazi [and] you look and say what are they up to?" Sheriff Nocco said after the arrests. "Are they trying to cause harm to others?"
So far, it seems their Nazism remained in the house.
"These are just criminals," said Nocco. "There is nothing to say they are committing any hate crime in our community. There is nothing to say they are recruiting for their ideology in our community."
Nocco says they did not appear to be planning any hate crimes against others, but they may have been engaged in some self-harming activities. All five, Nocco says, are addicted to methamphetamine.
Facing charges are Alexander Nowokunski, Steven Crumbley, Gabrielle Price, Michael Baun and Melinda Zalneraitis.
The first two are believed to be members of the Aryan Brotherhood.
"I promise you, if anyone was trying to cause harm over their ideology, they wouldn't be able to blink fast enough because our hands would be on them handcuffing them," said Nocco.
The sheriff says some of the stolen IDs may have been brought by others to trade for drugs.
"We have generational issues where people are in and out of jail, families, generations, from grandparents down, have been in and out of jail for years," said Nocco.
John Clark lives a few streets down and, like the sheriff, believes the presence of self-proclaimed neo-Nazis in Griffin Park and Moon Lake has been a black mark on the area for decades.
"They have been very obvious and the neighborhood has been pretty rowdy at times," said Clark.
Clark is contracted to refurbish several mobile homes in the area, which he hopes will help drive away those who feed on poverty for their ideology and drug customers.
"The [homes] turn into rentals, and then [the homes] turn into trash," said Clark. "It is not because of the people, it is because of the economy."
The sheriff says they're still looking for a sixth person, Justin Hopper.
The sheriff's office says they are trying to locate those whose ID cards were found to determine if they also took anyone's money.
If so, the group could face even more charges.