Crime - Sacto 911

Man behind hate fliers identified, arrested on unrelated charge

Oroville resident Gregory Withrow, the man whose name appeared on hate speech fliers distributed in Sacramento's midtown area last week, has been identified by Sacramento police and the FBI as the source of the leaflets.

But police said that even though the fliers were inflammatory and offensive, it was determined that neither their content nor their distribution constituted a violation of the law.

The racist leaflets, targeting Muslims and Latinos, were found the morning of May 3 on the windshields of cars. Sacramento police detectives, working with members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, determined that Withrow was responsible for the production and distribution of the fliers, according to a Police Department news release.

Officers contacted Withrow on Monday in Oroville, where he was arrested and booked into Butte County Jail on an unrelated charge, police said.

Although investigators concluded that the content of the fliers did not violate the law, police said the investigation revealed that Withrow was operating outside of the Post Release Community Supervision conditions imposed upon him, which resulted in his arrest for violation of his probation conditions.

Detectives do not believe anyone else was involved in distributing the fliers.

Withrow, 55, is co-founder and president of the Aryan Youth Movement-White Student Union. His attempts in the 1980s to form a chapter while a student at American River College prompted school officials to obtain a restraining order to keep him off campus.

He has a history of opposing celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. For several years in the 1980s, his group marked the day by distributing racist papers to homes in Sacramento.

He eventually renounced his legacy of hate. But, in 2005, sheriff’s deputies in Butte County linked him to hate literature distributed on city of Paradise doorsteps.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy