The self-proclaimed leader of the Aryan Nations of Reno [Nev.] has been arrested on federal charges for making violent threats to gays and others. Steven Holten, 40, a "one-man Aryan nation" who has been recruiting members for his white supremacist group in the area, is accused of e-mailing the threats to Jewish communities in Nevada and California, law officers, and members of the media, according to Reno police. Holten appeared in federal court in Reno on Thursday and was being held without bail Friday in Washoe County Jail.
Police said Holten allegedly sent a mass e-mail Monday that said the "Aryan Nations of Reno, Nevada" will carry out "terrorist actions that will be gruesome and something that has never been seen in Reno and San Francisco." He detailed violent acts that would be carried out on people and groups on its "most wanted list," including gays, Jews, members of the media, and anyone against white supremacy, police said. Holten, who has neo-Nazi SS lightning bolts tattooed on his neck, is the first suspect in Reno accused of sending violent hate threats, which authorities intercepted by tracing an e-mail, acting police chief Jim Weston told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Holten recently purchased a handgun, which later was recovered during a search of his apartment, along with a laptop computer he allegedly used to send the threat, Weston said. "Our impression is that he is a one-man Aryan nation," Weston said. "No one wants these types of threats, and that is not the conduct one would expect." Police said that although Holten has sent threatening e-mails during the past year to various Jewish and minority groups as well as to the Reno city council, the messages did not meet the legal standard to be considered a terrorist threat until Monday's mass mailing.