Two California men were indicted on suspicion of conspiring to attack the Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, the US Justice Department said Friday.
According to the unsealed indictment, Ian Benjamin Rogers, 45, of Napa and Jarrod Copeland, 37, of Vallejo, began plotting to attack democratic targets after the 2020 presidential election. antigovernment to further the cause.
The prosecution does not mention the name of the militia group they contacted.
However, in another court filing, prosecutors claimed that Copeland sent an email to the far-right group Proud Boys in an attempt to “recruit others to join the plot,” and was also a member of a militia group. affiliated with Three Percenters.
Both the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters have recently come under government scrutiny, after some of their members were indicted in connection with the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump.
A Rogers attorney declined to comment and a Copeland attorney could not be reached immediately.
In numerous messages they exchanged, the two discussed blowing up buildings, the Justice Department said.
In an exchange in January 2021, for example, Rogers told Copeland: “I want to blow up a Democratic building.”
“I agree,” Copeland replied. “Plan of attack”.
Federal law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on January 15 at Rogers’ home and seized a stash of weapons including 45-50 firearms, thousands of ammunition and five tube bombs.
Prosecutors say Copeland tried to destroy evidence during the investigation and communicated with the leader of a militia group who told him to switch communications platforms and delete the evidence.
Rogers was arrested the day the search warrant was executed and remains in state custody. Copeland was arrested on Thursday and will appear for a detention hearing on July 20, the Justice Department said.
In the detention note, prosecutors said Copeland enlisted in the US military in December 2013 but was arrested for desertion in May 2014. He received “non-honor leave” instead of being court-martialed. .
The memorandum states that Copeland and Rogers raged after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election and “realized they would be seen as internal terrorists” if they realized their vision of overthrowing the US government.
Their plot would begin on November 25, 2020, as Rogers told Copeland in an encrypted messaging application: “OK bro, we have to hit the enemy in the mouth.”
Initially, it is said, they discussed attacking the California governor’s mansion, though the plan evolved and the Democratic headquarters in California became the target. Other possible targets discussed included corporate offices for Twitter and Facebook.
A criminal complaint that accused Rogers in the case also claimed to have discussed the attack on Democratic collaborator George Soros.
The prosecution does not claim that Rogers or Copeland had any involvement in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
The FBI is still on the hunt for an unknown suspect who planted explosive devices near the Democratic and Republican committee headquarters on January 5.
[ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/16/california-democrat-headquarters-attack-plot-indictment https://d26toa8f6ahusa.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/30214746/a-quiet-place-part-2-bigs-16.pdf