- Members of the “boogaloo” movement tried to cover up evidence in a federal probe, officials said.
- A member of a California group was arrested and charged with killing a federal officer.
- Four members of that group deleted messages that referenced the incidents that led to his arrest.
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Members of the “Boogaloo” extremist movement were charged with conspiring to destroy evidence tied to the investigation of a fatal shooting of a federal officer, authorities said on Friday.
Four members of the Northern California-based Grizzly Scouts allegedly tried to cover up that one of their members had shot and killed the officer, a federal grand jury indictment said.
A second officer was also injured during the incident.
Authorities said Jessie Alexander Rush, 29, Robert Jesus Blancas, 33, Simon Sage Ybarra, 23, and Kenny Matthew Miksch, 21, conspired to destroy communications and other records tied to the May 29, 2020 incident.
Chat messages including one that read: “Dudes i offed a fed,” were deleted.
The Grizzly Scouts connected on a Facebook group with a description that referenced the “boogaloo movement” and would periodically meet in person for firearms training and other purposes.
The “boogaloo” movement is not one cohesive group but rather a string of loosely connected extremists and militias that believe in a theoretical second US civil war and uprising against the federal government.
CNN previously reported that Steven Carrillo, 32, was arrested last year and charged with murder in connection with a May 2020 shooting that resulted in the death of Federal Protective Service officer David Patrick Underwood in Oakland.
Carillo was also charged and arrested for the June 6 murder of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, but has pleaded not guilty to charges for both cases, CNN reported.
According to the recent indictment, Carillo sent a WhatsApp message to a group of Grizzly Scouts and reportedly said he was “preparing to engage in a shoot-out with law enforcement” and asked other members to help him.
Rush then instructed the group to delete messages, and not long after the shooting, Blancas also deleted files that were stored in a Dropbox account. All four men accused also reportedly connected on another platform hours after the shooting and deleted WhatsApp group messages including those that mentioned violence against law enforcement from their phones.