2 accused of plotting to blow up California Democrats’ headquarters – .

2 accused of plotting to blow up California Democrats’ headquarters – .

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Two Californian men have been accused of plotting to blow up the Democratic Party headquarters in the state capital, a bombing they hoped was the first in a series of politically motivated attacks, said Thursday federal prosecutors.

The couple used multiple messaging apps to plan to attack targets they associated with Democrats after the November 2020 presidential election, the U.S. prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Their first target was John L. Burton’s Democratic headquarters in Sacramento, prosecutors said.

“According to the indictment, the defendants planned to use incendiary devices to attack their targets and hoped their attacks would provoke movement,” the statement said.

Ian Benjamin Rogers, 45, and Jarrod Copeland, 37, each face multiple charges, including conspiracy to destroy by fire or explosive a building used or that has affected interstate commerce, prosecutors said.

Rogers of Napa is charged with other weapons offenses, including one count of possession of unregistered destructive devices and three counts of possession of machine guns. Copeland, of Vallejo, is charged with an additional count of destruction of records.

It was not known Thursday night if the men had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.

“I want to blow up a Democratic building,” Rogers wrote, according to the indictment unsealed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco. Copeland responded, “I agree” and “Plan an attack,” the indictment reads.

In late December 2020, Copeland told Rogers he had contacted an anti-government militia to gain support for their movement, court documents show.

In an exchange, Rogers wrote to Copeland, “After the 20th, we go to war,” meaning they would initiate acts of violence after Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, according to court documents.

On January 15, law enforcement officers raided Rogers’ home and seized a cache of weapons, including 45 to 50 firearms, thousands of cartridges and five homemade bombs, prosecutors said.

Copeland is accused of attempting to destroy evidence of the plan after Rogers’ arrest on January 15.

Rusty Hicks, chairman of the California Democratic Party, called the accusations “extremely disturbing.”

“We are relieved to know that the plot has not been successful, that those suspected of being responsible are in custody and that our staff and volunteers are safe and sound,” Hicks said in a statement. “Yet it points to a broader problem of violent extremism that is far too common in political discourse today. “

Copeland was arrested on Wednesday and first appeared in court on Thursday. He is scheduled to appear again in court on July 20 for a detention hearing. Rogers is due in court on July 30 for a status conference.

If convicted on all counts, each defendant faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, officials said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here