Hello, MilitiaWatch readers! Here’s the monthly update for February 2023. This one’s another brief update, with the first sections covering Boog, Borders, and Bundy. Read on for more!
Last month’s update covering January 2023 is available here.
Boog Legal Updates
At the start of the month, an alleged Boogaloo adherent was arrested by the FBI. The feds say he had explosive material in his home, which they subsequently seized. The DOJ also claims that the 39-year-old had posted on Boogaloo Facebook pages.
In the first half of the month, two key border militia groups conducted operations along the border in conjunction with Customs and Border Patrol, a relationship that remains illegal but continues with tacit approval from the state.
The Veterans on Patrol group, which is prolific on Telegram through their leader Michael “Lewis Arthur” Meyers, reported groups of asylum seekers to CBP and claimed that they assisted Texas border enforcement arrest a person on the US-Mexico border, too.
The Arizona Border Recon, a border militia run by small-town transplant Tim Foley, helped CBP detain nearly a dozen migrants in the same timeframe.
Ammon Bundy, who went to jail last month following a plea deal regarding his 2022 misdemeanor trespassing charge at St. Luke’s Meridian Hospital, may be facing further charges as court orders have allowed St. Luke’s the ability to add claims of punitive damage against Bundy and his associates. People’s Rights Network is once more looped into this potential litigation. Bundy has been held in contempt of court a handful of times and St. Luke’s has called for $7.5M in damages in the meantime.
Don Hazard (real name), the leader of a Texas militia group called the “Patriot Boys” plead guilty to assaulting a cop at the US Capitol Building on January 6. Hazard and his militia comrade, Luke Denney, both caught charges for their involvement in the storming of the US government building. The two, beyond being members of the same militia and co-defendants related to their actions at the Capitol, also ran a wildlife removal firm named “Patriot”. Denney was sentenced to four years in prison last September.
The trial for Oath Keepers member Laura Steele, a former cop, concluded at the end of February. She faces six counts against her, one of which is an insurrection charge she faces alongside five other defendants.
Proud Boys lead Enrique Tarrio’s trial is ongoing, which has caused some interesting details to emerge. For example, on February 14, the court released text messages between Tarrio and a DC Metropolitan Police Department Intelligence Bureau lieutenant showing a cordial (and specifically anti-‘antifa’) relationship between the two. Lt. Shane Lamond, who had access to intelligence resources regarding demonstrations and political actors, called Tarrio “brother” and gave the Proud Boys leader all sorts of heads-up texts.
Updates Out West
The Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT), the only remaining major Oath Keepers chapter left in the US, changed their biweekly meeting location after the church they met at grew weary of complaints about hosting the group.
On February 18, right-wing activists hosted a yearly pro-2A rally at the Arizona State Capitol. Boogaloo adherents, III% activists, and Proud Boys showed up, alongside general armed activists showing off their kits. Many politicians spoke, including Quang Nguyen, a staple at local Oath Keepers’ meetings and a state representative. Mark Lamb, a CSPOA sheriff said he would be announcing a run for U.S. Senate.
The Oregon and Idaho legislatures are heavily considering bills that pertain to the problems of militias and paramilitary activity from a punitive legal standpoint. In Oregon, a new bill might represent the most comprehensive law against paramilitary activity in any state. In Idaho, a completely different pro-paramilitarism bill would instead repeal a statute that prohibits parading with firearms.