Three people have been arrested on more than 100 counts each, accused of distributing pamphlets bearing hate symbols at a synagogue, black church and other locations in Hornell, New York, police said.
Aubrey Dragonetti, 31, Dylan Henry, 30, and Ryan Mulhollen, 27, have each been charged with 115 counts of aggravated harassment, the Hornell Police Department said in a statement. Monday press release.
Hornell is a small town in southern New York, with a population of 8,300, according to the latest US Census figures.
On July 9 and 10, police investigated pamphlets and stickers containing swastikas and racial slurs left at places of worship and on public and private property in the city, officials said.
A flyer bearing the words “Aryan National Army” was found at Rehoboth Deliverance Ministries, which has a predominantly black congregation. The same type of literature was found in front of the Temple Beth-El synagogue, The evening standreported Hornell’s diary.
The Aryan Nations “are one of the country’s best-known enclaves of anti-Semitism and white nationalism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
A warrant, in conjunction with the New York State Police, was executed in the 130 block of River Street, police said, leading to the arrest of the trio.
“During the search, evidence was found that described Felony Aggravated Harassment 1, a Class E felony,” the police department said in the statement.
The prosecution, under New York law, is defined as “with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person”, because of “race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, religion”. The charge description also includes depictions of swastikas and nooses as symbols of intimidation.
NBC News has contacted the police department for further comment on the arrests.
The suspects appeared in Steuben County Centralized Impeachment Court on Monday, The Evening Tribune reported. Information about attorneys for the three was not immediately available.
Dragonetti and Mulhollen were imprisoned in Steuben County Jail and later released. Henry remains in custody, according to prison records.
Hornell Mayor John J. Buckley said he was “absolutely shocked and appalled by the actions and behavior of these three individuals.”
“The town of Hornell is a very tight-knit, welcoming and accepting community and there is absolutely no place for this type of hate or any other here,” he said. “These are three misguided individuals who have hatred in their hearts. That’s something that doesn’t reflect Hornell.”