PROVIDENCE — Two men who are part of a neo-Nazi group pleaded no contest Tuesday for refusing to answer questions from East Providence police about their identities when they were trespassing at a private school this summer.
Stephen Thomas Farrea, 32, of Portsmouth, and Austin Conti, 26, of Warwick, who are affiliated with the Nationalist Social Club 131, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as a New England-based neo-Nazi group, were ordered to perform 20 hours of community service. Their charges will be filed for a year, provided they are not arrested again.
Farrea and Conti have been out on their own recognizance since their arrests in East Providence in late June.
The police had been called about a group of men stapling white supremacist fliers on utility poles and trespassing on the grounds of the Gordon School, a private elementary school in East Providence. (Police said at the time that they did not believe the school itself was a target.)
School administrators wanted the men removed from the property. Three men in the group gave police their identifications and signed trespass orders: Jason Lowe, 38, of Warwick, Tyler L. Moody, 28, of Pawtucket; and Cody Baker, 22, of Fall River.
Farrea and Conti were arrested when they refused to identify themselves. Both have been identified by multiple sources as neo-Nazis, and they have appeared at other NSC-131 events in Massachusetts.
Farrea was a corporal in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve until his chatter on Discord, an online chat platform, with fellow members of the Identity Evropa hate group was leaked by activists Unicorn Riot and publicized by Huffington Post in 2019.
According to military records obtained by Freedom of Information Act request, Farrea had entered the Marines in 2013, was at the school of infantry at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and was assigned to Fort Devens, in Massachusetts. He was a mortarman and earned a single badge, the National Defense Service Medal, rifle. He was discharged in 2019, after the publicity of his involvement with Identity Evropa.
Conti has a large sonnenrad tattoo, a symbol that the ADL says is an ancient European symbol appropriated by the Nazis “in their attempt to invent an idealized ‘Aryan/Norse’ heritage.” Open sources found social-media postings by Conti, since deleted, of violent racist and antisemitic content, under the pseudonyms “Steel Pete” and “Pete SS.”