(JTA) — A prominent white supremacist has been sentenced to 30 days in jail in Florida for distributing antisemitic flyers — though the content of the material did not factor into his penalty.
Jon Minadeo II, the founder of the Goyim Defense League, was found guilty of littering in a jury trial Wednesday in Palm Beach County. Minadeo was arrested in March while distributing antisemitic literature out of the back of a U-Haul truck.
Distributing antisemitic flyers is a core activity of the Goyim Defense League, which Minadeo founded in California in 2018. The group was responsible for nearly 500 incidents of antisemitic propaganda in 2022, according to the Anti-Defamation League, making it one of the most prominent American antisemitic groups. Its members typically put antisemitic flyers in plastic bags and leave them, often weighted down with rocks, on public and private property.
Minadeo relocated to Florida last year, saying that he thought it would be more hospitable to his group’s operations. In fact, a new Florida state law, intended to curb neo-Nazi activity, makes it a felony to distribute hateful or intimidating materials on private property.
The law was passed after Minadeo’s arrest, so it did not factor into how he was prosecuted. He told a local news outlet from court on Wednesday that he thought his prosecution on littering charges was inappropriate.
“I do believe they’re trying to censor free speech by using tactics like littering,” he said.
Minadeo and his group have made headlines in the past for extremist activity including picketing synagogues in various states, flying antisemitic banners and projecting antisemitic messages on sports stadium, and says he has previously been arrested by Polish authorities for promoting antisemitism at the site of the Auschwitz death camp. Neo-Nazi groups like the Goyim Defense League have pounced on the rise of anti-Israel activism in the wake of the country’s war with Hamas to try to sway new members.