Four Northern California militia members affiliated with the far-right “boogaloo” movement admitted to destroying evidence in the alleged murder of a federal security officer in Oakland last year, authorities said Monday.
The men, Jessie Rush, 29; Robert Blancas, 33; Simon Ybarra, 23; and Kenny Miksch, 21, pleaded 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 officer was wounded during the shooting, which occurred as large anti-police violence protests swept the country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by a former Minneapolis police officer.
Another alleged militia member and former Air Force staff sergeant, Steven Carrillo, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder in the shooting. Carrillo has also pleaded not guilty to a June 6 ambush near Santa Cruz that left a sheriff’s deputy dead.
Federal authorities said the men met through a Facebook group connected to the “booglaoos,” an anti-government movement calling for a violent uprising against law enforcement and liberal politicians.
The men admitted to joining an armed militia group known as the Grizzly Scouts, authorities said. They held firearms and operations trainings, and discussed waging war against the government, the statement said.
The men admitted that Carrillo messaged their WhatsApp group — "209 Goon HQ" — asking for help as he was ambushing officers in Santa Cruz.
“Dude i offed a fed,” authorities said Carrillo told the men.
Rush, who had named himself commanding officer of the Grizzly Scouts, told Carrillo to delete the data on his phone and “get out of there,” the statement said.
The four men admitted deleting other messages with Carrillo 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.
Separately, Blancas pleaded guilty last month to producing child pornography after enticing a 15-year-old girl to produce dozens of pornographic videos and photos, authorities said.
Blancas faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the pornography charges. The other men face sentences of as much as 20 years.
Lawyers for Ybarra and Blancas declined to comment. Lawyers for Rush and Miksch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.