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Four suspected Boogaloo associates are indicted for allegedly destroying evidence

Four suspected members of a group associated with the extremist anti-government Boogaloo movement have been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Jessie Alexander Rush, Robert Jesus Blancas, Simon Sage Ybarra, and Kenny Matthew Miksch are charged with destroying records following the May 29 killing of a federal security officer in Oakland and the June 6 slaying of a sheriff’s deputy, according to the federal indictment dated March 23, which was unsealed on Friday.

CNN has reached out to attorneys for Rush, and Miksch for comment, and is attempting to determine whether Blancas and Ybarra have obtained legal representation.

As CNN previously reported, a suspected Boogaloo adherent named Steven Carrillo was arrested last year and has been charged federally for the May 29 killing of a federal protective services officer. Authorities said Carrillo opened fire on a guard booth at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and US Courthouse in Oakland, killing Officer David Patrick Underwood and injuring another.

Days later on June 6, authorities allege Carrillo killed Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

Carrillo has pleaded not guilty to both the federal and state charges, according to court records. CNN has reached out to an attorney for Carrillo for comment.

According to the newly unsealed indictment, Carrillo and the four recently indicted defendants were members of a militia-type group in Northern California called the “Grizzly Scouts.”

On June 1 and 2, 2020, after the alleged killing of the Oakland court officer, the five members communicated via WhatsApp and discussed the Boogaloo movement, as well as killing police officers, according to the federal indictment.

On June 6, minutes before allegedly killing a sheriff’s deputy, “Carrillo told the group that he was preparing to engage in a shoot-out with law enforcement,” and requested the other group members come to his assistance, according to the indictment.

After the shooting, Rush, Blancas, Ybarra, and Miksch deleted their WhatsApp conversations regarding the June 6 incident and prior discussions about targeting law enforcement, according to the indictment.

“In the weeks following the shooting, members of the Grizzly Scouts … repeatedly confirmed with one another that they had destroyed evidence relating to the Grizzly Scouts, of which Carrillo was a member,” according to the indictment affidavit.

As CNN has reported, the Boogaloo Bois or Boys are an emerging incarnation of extremism that seems to defy easy categorization. Boogaloo members appear to hold conflicting ideological views, with some identifying as anarchists and others rejecting formal titles. Some pockets of the group have espoused White supremacy while others reject it.

The four defendants are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying records, and the destruction of records in official proceedings, according to the Justice Department release.

Rush is charged with an additional count of obstruction of official proceedings and Blancas is charged with an additional count of destruction of records in official proceedings, according to the statement.

If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the conspiracy, obstruction, and destruction charges.

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