2 Alleged members of “Boogaloo” arrested in Michigan and Ohio

COREY WILLIAMS and ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) – The FBI has arrested two alleged members of the far-right anti-government group Boogaloo Boys, and officials grew increasingly concerned about the possibility of violence in the run-up to next week’s mid-term election.

Timothy Teagan appeared in a Detroit federal court on Wednesday on charges of drug addiction, possession of weapons and ammunition, and making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, according to an unsealed federal complaint.

Meanwhile, the FBI said in a criminal complaint on Monday that there was enough evidence to accuse Aron McKillips of Sandusky, Ohio, of illegally possessing a machine gun and interstate communications over the threats. He said McKillips is a member of the Boogaloo Boys and is believed to belong to a militia group known as the Sons of Liberty.

McKillips’ attorney, Neil McElroy, said in an email Wednesday that McKillips had been detained and asked for McKillips to be released pending a November 9 hearing in Toledo, Ohio.

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On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered Teagan to wait until Friday’s bond hearing.

Dressed in a colorful Hawaiian-style shirt – a kind of uniform for followers of the so-called boogaloo movement, which proclaims the Second US Civil War is coming – Teagan said in court that he might try to keep his own lawyer.

Police in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth arrested Teagan on October 25 and charged him with assault and battery in connection with the attack on his father. FBI agents searching his room at his father’s Plymouth home four days later found a bulletproof vest, flags and patches with boogaloo movements, and gas masks, according to a criminal complaint. They also took the pistol from his brother’s vehicle.

According to the complaint, Teagan submitted a form for alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives on July 17 to purchase firearms and certifies that he does not use controlled substances. But on October 27, agents confiscated packages of what appeared to be marijuana, bongs, and other drug-related accessories from Teagan’s room.

His brother, Christopher Teagan, told an FBI agent of the Joint Terrorism Task Force that he had brought Timothy Teagan “a ton of weed” after his brother was released on robbery charges.

Timothy Teagan also told agents that he was using marijuana, the FBI said.

Teagan’s arrest came on Tuesday a week before the mid-term election. Since the 2020 elections, electoral workers have increasingly been the target of threats and harassment, and the situation has only gotten worse in recent weeks, with federal authorities already accusing at least five people. Election officials across the country are concerned about the flood of conspiracy theorists reporting for work as poll observers, with some groups smuggling lies about the recruitment and training of 2020 election observers.

Teagan was one of a dozen people who openly carried a gun during a demonstration in January 2021 outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. Some of them promoted the boogaloo movement. Teagan then told reporters that the purpose of the demonstration was “to call for peace and unity left and right.”

Some of the boogaloo promoters say that they don’t really advocate violence. But the movement is linked to a host of terrorist plots in the country. The Department of Homeland Security has warned of the potential threats of internal terrorism from boogaloo supporters.

Christopher Teagan, 24, told the Associated Press after Wednesday’s hearing that his brother through his association with the “boogaloo movement” “has never been involved in any kind of violence.”

“He has just been to the protests,” said Christopher Teagan outside the courtroom. “I think (the FBI) ​​will pursue him unfairly or more severely because of his affiliation with the group.”

In a criminal complaint against McKillips, the FBI says he has repeatedly threatened on the Internet, including one to kill a police officer and another to kill anyone it deems a federal informant.

The FBI says McKillips provided other Boogaloo Boys members with equipment to convert rifles to machine guns, such as during a trip to Lansing, Michigan in April 2021. “I was literally handing out machine guns in Michigan,” McKillips said in the video, says the complaint.

In September 2021, he said on a private chat group, “I don’t have a federal cadaver badge yet, so my time is not over here, lol,” according to the complaint.

In May of this year, McKillips and another Signal messaging system user threatened to kill another Signal user, believing the person to be an informant who worked for the FBI or ATF. And in July, McKillips threatened Signal in a chat that he would “light a hog”, meaning he would kill a policeman if conditions worsened after the fatal police shootout in Akron in July.

McKillips has frequently advocated violence against police officers, federal agents and government buildings, high-end stores like Walmart and Target, and even threatened to blow up Facebook headquarters.

Welsh Huggins reported from Columbus, Ohio.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, modified or redistributed.

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