3 men tied to right-wing extremists plotted to terrorize Vegas protests, prosecutors say

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People shout slogans and hold placards, on June 1, 2020, in downtown Las Vegas, as they take part in a “Black lives matter” rally in response to the recent death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody. – Thousands of National Guard troops patrolled major US cities after five consecutive nights of protests over racism and police brutality that boiled over into arson and looting, sending shock waves through the country. The death Monday of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis ignited this latest wave of outrage in the US over law enforcement’s repeated use of lethal force against African Americans — this one like others before captured on cellphone video. (Photo by BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Three Nevada men with ties to a movement of right-wing extremists have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities say was a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas.

“Violent instigators have hijacked peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country, including Nevada, exploiting the real and legitimate outrage over Mr. Floyd’s death for their own radical agendas,” Nevada U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich said Wednesday at a joint press conference. “Law enforcement is focused on keeping violence and destruction from interfering with free public expression and threatening lives.”

The three alleged members of the “Boogaloo” movement — a term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society — have been charged with violations of federal and state law for conspiracy to cause destruction during protests in Las Vegas, and possession of an unregistered destructive device (specifically, an improvised incendiary device commonly known as a Molotov cocktail).

Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over George Floyd, who died while in Minneapolis police custody.

The suspects have been identified as Stephen T. Parshall, 35, Andrew T. Lynam Jr., 23, and William L. Loomis, 40. They were arrested Saturday on the way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles, prosecutors said.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday said they self-identified as part of the “Boogaloo” movement.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson stated:

“My office is committed to aggressively prosecuting those who make it their mission to create chaos and destruction with total disregard for the safety and well-being of our citizens and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect and serve our community. This type of planning and intent on causing mayhem is terroristic and will not be tolerated. Thankfully, the Joint Terrorism Task Force is able to identify and stop such actions. Now it’s my job to hold these men accountable.”

Parshall, Lynam, and Loomis were all arrested in Las Vegas on May 30, 2020, and are currently in state custody. They’re being held on $1 million bond each in the Clark County jail.

They’re each charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire and explosive, and one count of possession of unregistered firearms, that is, a destructive device.

“This quick and decisive action by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force underscores the exceptional partnership and professionalism of our diverse membership,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse. “Federal, state, and local agencies committed to stopping acts of terrorism before they can occur. Citizens of Nevada can take comfort that the law enforcement partnerships in this state continue to work together every day to protect them no matter the circumstances.”

If convicted of federal charges, Parshall, Lynam, and Loomis each face a statutory maximum sentence of:

  • 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire and explosive
  • 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of unregistered firearms.

The charges stem from an investigation led by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Las Vegas, which includes the FBI, LVMPD, ATF, North Las Vegas Police Department, and the U.S. National Park Service. 

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