Four US citizens have been accused of working on behalf of the Russian government to push pro-Kremlin propaganda and unduly influence elections in Florida.
According to a grand jury indictment [PDF] the Americans along with three Russian nationals allegedly participated in a multi-year foreign-fueled influence campaign that began around November 2014 and continued through July 2022.
The indictment follows earlier charges last year [PDF] against Moscow resident Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, two unnamed Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents, and four unnamed Americans for their roles in recruiting US political groups to sow discord and division among voters, and push, among other fringe ideologies, California’s secession from the US.
It’s claimed this same group of FSB agents also funded and directed the political campaign of a particular candidate for office in St Petersburg, Florida, in 2019, we’re told. The name of the recipient has been not been given.
Now the Feds have named the remaining Russians and Americans in the group: Russian nationals Yegor Sergeyevich Popov and Aleksey Borisovich Sukhodolov, and Americans Omali Yeshitela (aka Joseph Waller), Penny Joanne Hess, Jesse Nevel (aka Jesse Nevelsky) and Augustus Romain Jr. (aka Gazi Kodzo).
Between November 2014 and July 2022, Ionov allegedly recruited members of political groups within the US, including the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement (collectively, the APSP) in Florida, Black Hammer in Georgia, and an unnamed political group in California.
Yeshitela served as the chairman and founder of the APSP, while Hess, Nevel