Extremist U.K. Fugitives Arrested in U.S.

Two men fled to the United States after they were found guilty in England of publishing Holocaust denial and racist tracts online, including writings by the former head of the American Nazi Party.

Simon Sheppard and Stephen Whittle were believed to be in the custody of U.S. immigration officials after being arrested at the Los Angeles airport. A spokeswoman for Humberside Police in England told the Yorkshire Post that police were speaking with immigration officials to confirm the men's identities.

Police began searching for the men when they failed to show up at Leeds Crown Court in Yorkshire on July 14. A jury convicted Sheppard of 11 counts of publishing racially inflammatory writings, returning two of the verdicts after he'd absconded. Whittle was found guilty of five counts of publishing racist material.

While the men had argued that their materials were satirical, the prosecutor said they held profoundly racist and anti-Semitic views. Sheppard was previously imprisoned in the Netherlands in 1995 for Holocaust denial and was sentenced in 1999 to nine months in prison for anti-Jewish leafleting, according to Searchlight, a magazine that covers the far right in Europe.

The writings published on Sheppard's website, the Heretical Press, drew 4,000 visitors a day. They included "Tales of the Holohoax," a comic strip denying the Holocaust, as well as the articles "Auschwitz: The Holiday Camp for Kikes" and "Evil Zionist Kikes." Other racist articles were written by the late American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell, including "Coon-ard Lines Boat Ticket to Africa."

Like many bigots, Sheppard and Whittle published their material on servers housed in the United States to avoid prosecution under British laws prohibiting publication of materials intended to incite racial hatred. The fact that they were still convicted has shaken British racists, Searchlight reported.