By a Biometrica staffer
Evidence in the alleged murder of a federal security officer in Oakland was destroyed by four Northern California members affiliated with the far right boogaloo movement, authorities said on Sep. 20.
Jessie Rush, Robert Blancas, Simon Ybarra and Kenny Miksch, pled guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice in the fatal shooting of Dave Patrick Underwood at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building on May 29, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California’s Northern District said in a statement.
A second police officer was injured in the incident which happened in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, NBC News reported. Steven Carillo, another alleged militia member, pled not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with the incident.
Authorities say the men first connected through a Facebook group associated with the boogaloos, an anti-government group calling for an uprising, and then became a part of Grizzly Scouts, an armed militia group.
The four men have admitted to deleting messages from Carillo in the chat group, as well as digital files that detailed the Grizzly Scouts’ rank structure, non-disclosure agreements, liability waivers, uniform descriptions and combat, firearms and training assessments.
In an unrelated case, Blancas pleaded guilty in August to producing child pornography after enticing a 15-year-old girl to produce dozens of pornographic videos and photos. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
According to a statement by the Justice Department from April: “The Facebook group’s description stated, “they say the west won’t boog,” a reference to the “boogaloo” movement, and that “were [sic] here to gather like minded Californians who can network and establish local goon squads.” As alleged in the indictment, “boogaloo” is a term sometimes used by certain militia extremists to reference a politically motivated civil war or uprising against the government. The “boogaloo” is not a single cohesive group, but rather a loose concept that has become a rallying point for some extremists.”
The indictment references the May 29, 2020 shootings at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Oakland, California. At about 9:44 p.m. that evening, a passenger inside of a white van opened fire and shot two federal Protective Security Officers (PSOs); one of the PSOs died of his gunshot wounds and the other sustained serious injuries that required surgery.
The indictment also references the June 6, 2020 shootings of deputies of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. At about 2 p.m. that day, sheriff’s deputies responded to an address in Ben Lomond, California, associated with an abandoned white van.
According to the indictment, a member of the Grizzly Scouts exchanged messages on the WhatsApp group with other Grizzly Scouts, in which that member allegedly told the group that he was preparing to engage in a shoot-out with law enforcement. The member allegedly asked the other Grizzly Scouts to come to his aid.
Boogaloo is an anti-government movement that advocates a violent uprising targeting liberal political opponents. It primarily organizes online and includes groups on mainstream internet platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit.