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Four members of an armed right-wing group linked to the anti-government “boogaloo” movement have been charged with conspiring to destroy evidence related to the fatal shooting of a Federal Protective Service officer and the wounding of another in Oakland, Calif., last May, prosecutors announced Friday.
A federal grand jury indictment says members of the Northern California-based Grizzly Scouts tried to cover for one of their own after he allegedly gunned down the officers, deleting chat histories that included a message reading, “Dudes i offed a fed.”
Jessie Alexander Rush, 29, Robert Jesus Blancas, 33, Simon Sage Ybarra, 23, and Kenny Matthew Miksch, 21, are accused of conspiracy to destroy records and destruction of records in official proceedings. Rush faces an additional count of obstruction of official proceedings, and Blancas is charged with an additional count of destruction of records in official proceedings.
Prosecutors said the men belonged to a Facebook group named “/K/alifornia Kommando” and would meet in person for firearms training and other activities. According to the indictment, the Facebook group’s description read, “they say the west won’t boog” — a phrase, prosecutors say, that refers to the boogaloo movement, a loose collection of anti-government extremists who agitate for civil war.
All four men remained in federal custody over the weekend. If convicted, each could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. A lawyer for Blancas declined to comment on the case. Attorney information for the other defendants wasn’t immediately available.
The indictment comes as domestic terrorism incidents have soared in the United States and law enforcement agencies face pressure to crack down on far-right extremists after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.