An undocumented Dutch “Boogaloo Boi” arrested by the FBI on weapons and immigration charges is a good dad who just wants to be home in Virginia with his 6-year-old daughter, according to his lawyer.
Meanwhile, he is comfortably riding out his time in federal detention with financial support from fellow members of the Boogaloo movement, a largely decentralized extremist movement that aims to overthrow the U.S. government by inciting a second civil war.
In a decision handed down on Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent ordered Jaap Willem Lijbers, who pleaded not guilty, held without bail until his next court appearance set for Apr. 8.
Four supporters showed up for Lijbers’ Tuesday court appearance, a close friend of his told The Daily Beast. A fifth supporter was supposed to be there but got rear-ended while driving to the courthouse and never made it, he said.
“ICE has a hold on the bond,” the friend said of Lijbers, 26, who traveled to the U.S. on a 90-day tourist visa in 2014 and never left. “If anybody wants to get him in a position to be able to bail out, they have to go through ICE.”
As The Daily Beast first reported, the FBI raided Lijbers’ home in Tazewell County, Virginia last week, seizing a Radical Firearms RF-15 military-style rifle along with five magazines, one of which was loaded.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Virginia federal court, Lijbers was a member of a private Facebook group that included Steven Carrillo, an infamous Boogaloo Boi and former Air Force sergeant charged in a series of politically motivated cop killings last June. The complaint alleges Lijbers had also been in direct contact with Benjamin Ryan Teeter, a North Carolina Boogaloo Boi who in December pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for attempting to provide material support to Hamas, and with Ivan Harrison Hunter, a Boogaloo Boi from Texas charged with rioting after shooting up a Minneapolis police station with an AK-47-style assault rifle during the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.
Using search warrants to subpoena social media records, the FBI identified a Facebook account under the name “Marvin Dorner” that had been in contact with Hunter and Teeter. In one set of direct messages, Lijbers—using the Marvin Dorner alias—discussed traveling to Minneapolis during the protests, according to the FBI. He was ultimately unable to go, and “pivoted” to attending local anti-government protests closer to home.
At one protest in Virginia, Lijbers told Hunter that he was the only one there armed with a gun, and that he had “discussed his rifle with one of the police present and that he basically ran security for the event.” He allegedly sent Hunter a photograph of himself holding a sign reading: “THE BIG IGLOO BOIS LAUGH IN THE FACE OF TYRANNY,” and followed up with a message that said, “I showed every cop that sign.” In another message, he sent Hunter a screenshot of a tweet showing him holding a rifle at the rally.
“You could argue, since Jaap was an illegal immigrant, he didn't have gun rights,” said the friend. “I think that's the basis of the charge.”
After two GoFundMe campaigns intended to raise money for Lijbers’ legal expenses were removed by the site for violating its terms of service, other Boogaloo Bois have tried to help Lijbers out during his pre-trial detention by putting “money on his books,” the friend added. It has enabled the Dutch national to make phone calls and purchase items from the jail commissary. The Dutch embassy has also been notified of Lijbers’ legal predicament, according to court records.
The far-right Boogaloo movement is made up of various factions. While some members do in fact advocate for a “race war,” a significant portion are focused only on fomenting the wholesale collapse of the U.S. government.
The friend, who insisted Lijbers does not consider himself to be a white supremacist, said Lijbers was hoping he “would just get a quick deportation, and it would be over with. And then we'd work on getting him back in the country through immigration lawyers, et cetera. And the way he was talking, it sounded like ICE was working with him to just make it a quick deportation. And then at the last minute, apparently they changed their minds.”
Nancy Dickenson-Vicars, the federal defender representing Lijbers, argued unsuccessfully for his release, stating that Lijbers “would return to his residence... where he was living at the time of his arrest and resume parenting his six-year-old child, with whom he has a very close bond.” Although Lijbers and the child’s mom are no longer romantically involved, they maintain “an amicable relationship,” Dickenson-Vicars said in a bail motion.
“He has the support of his child’s extended maternal family, who describe him as [an] excellent father to his child,” it says. “His residence is immediately adjacent to the home of his child’s maternal grandmother. The child spends part-time with her grandmother and part-time with Mr. Lijbers. A member of his child’s maternal family is willing to serve as third-party custodian for Mr. Lijbers,” who “has not been charged with any criminal or traffic offense since entering the country in 2014.”
“What he focuses on is that he just wants to see his daughter, he just wants to be with his daughter,” said Lijbers’ friend, noting that although Lijbers is in the country illegally, his child is an American citizen. “He wants this over with as fast as possible. I don’t want to say, you know, that he’s scared or anything like that. But like, he definitely does not want to be in ICE custody. We are very much against ICE in general. We’re for open borders. Like, no Boogaloo Boi voted for Trump, at least not this time around. Though, I can't speak for the last time.”
If convicted, Lijbers faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, plus deportation back to the Netherlands.