Three Nevada men with prior U.S. military experience and links to a right-wing extremist group conspired to set off explosives at a recent protest against police brutality to “create civil unrest and rioting” and spark violence between police and protesters, federal prosecutors say.
Stephen Parshall, alias “Kiwi,” Andrew Lynam, and William Loomis are each being held on a $1 million bond for terrorism-related charges.
According to a complaint filed by the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office, the group was “potentially planning terroristic activity” when they brought Molotov cocktail materials to a Las Vegas protest over the death of George Floyd.
All three have identified themselves as members of the “Boogaloo” movement, an extremist group that dreams of sowing discord to spark a violent uprising and government overthrow, according to prosecutors. The group also boasts military training: Lynam is described as a member of the Army Reserves, Parshall was a Navy sailor, and Loomis was an enlisted member of the Air Force.
All three face both federal and state charges. On the federal level, they are charged with conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire, and explosive and possession of unregistered firearms. In Nevada, they face charges of felony conspiracy, terrorism and explosives possession.
Lynam and Parshall had initially set their sights on a protest against Nevada’s shelter-in-place orders, allegedly attending one such rally in early April while armed with pistols and assault rifles and scoping it out for possible disruption, prosecutors said. It was there that they allegedly told an FBI informant of their desire to topple the government. The two met Loomis at the demonstration and inducted him into their group.
On a hike in late April, the trio allegedly discussed a plan to incinerate a Forest Ranger station near Lake Mead as a trial run for an eventual plot that would prove so burdensome and costly to the government as to dismantle it entirely. The complaint states the extremists hoped to detonate explosives at power stations along the border between Arizona and Nevada and that they even scouted one owned by NV Energy as a possible target in addition to a specific Ranger station.
Parshall and Lynam allegedly hatched a plan to detonate fireworks, smoke bombs, and noise makers at another demonstration against Nevada’s coronavirus precautions to confuse police and panic the public, though Parshall called off the plot just a few days before the gathering.
Parshall, Lynam, and Loomis turned their attention to the riots and protests that erupted in May after the alleged murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. They attended the demonstrations while armed, taunting police, according to the FBI. The complaint states that Parshall became upset when no violence occurred, as he felt he needed physical conflict to enact the plan.
Prosecutors say they planned to execute their plans against the backdrop of widespread protests to “create civil unrest and rioting.”
“They wanted to use the momentum of the George Floyd death in police custody in the City of Minneapolis to hopefully stir enough confusion and excitement, that others see the two explosions and police presence and begin to riot in the streets out of anger,” the complaint states.
They allegedly brought Molotov cocktail materials—gasoline in glass Calypso lemonade bottles and ripped rags. Law enforcement found shotguns, fireworks, assault rifles, extra ammunition magazines, and flammable hairspray in their vehicles. They had intended to target police and protesters.