He appeared before his thousands of internet followers regularly, once wearing Nazi regalia and a bulletproof vest, waving weapons. He harassed strangers on the internet and in person with threats of violence and encouraged his social media followers to do the same, court records show.
Even on a phone call from his prison cell, Paul Nicholas Miller, 33, attempted to portray himself as a martyr for his cause, which prosecutors say was rife with racism and white supremacy. He told a supporter of his that he was a “political prisoner” and that his life had been ruined for what he described as him “trying to help our cause, trying to help our people.”
Miller, who pled guilty in June to three weapons charges after an FBI raid uncovered an assortment of ammo and weapons, said on the call from prison, posted to social media, he anticipated serving only 18 months for his crimes.
But on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal sentenced Miller to 41 months in prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in 2018, possessing ammunition as a convicted felon in 2021 and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle in 2021, prosecutors said in a news release.
The case began in 2018 when Miller traveled from his home in New Jersey to Fort Lauderdale where he took a firearms training course and fired a handgun. Miller would later attempt to use the certificate of completion from the course to get a concealed weapons license in Florida, court records say.
Though previously convicted of aggravated assault and drug charges, Miller wrote in his application that he was not a convicted felon. He was denied, but he didn’t let that stop his “dogged pursuit of firearms and ammunition,” records say. Miller later admitted to buying ammo and firearms parts at gun shows and building them himself by watching tutorials on YouTube to prepare for the “impending collapse of American society,” records say.
Those firearms and ammunition would not be found until March when SWAT team agents raided his Fort Lauderdale home after the FBI began monitoring his social media when several people complained about his violent threats online, records say.
“The central themes of Miller’s internet presence were his white supremacist ideology, his advocacy for a second American civil war, his wish for the collapse of the existing order, and his hope for a bloody reordering that would result in the implementation of his preferred hierarchy,” court records say.
Inside Miller’s home, federal law enforcement discovered “an arsenal consistent with Miller’s advocacy,” records say: an unregistered short-barreled rifle, a handgun, a combat knife, a tactical vest with plated body armor inserts and hundreds of rounds of ammo.
Federal law enforcement arrested Miller that day after a federal grand jury returned an indictment in connection with his 2018 offense, prosecutors said, and a federal grand jury added the two other counts for Miller’s 2021 possession of the ammo and unregistered short-barreled rifle that SWAT team agents found in his house.
“In the months immediately before his arrest, Miller had made hundreds of internet posts publicizing his animosity towards various minority groups and his support for the initiation of a race-based civil war in the United States,” prosecutors wrote in a news release Tuesday.
Following his nearly 3-and-a-half year sentence, Miller will serve three years’ supervised release, prosecutors said.