90°F
weather icon Clear

Alleged boogaloo member called extreme threat; bail reduction denied

Updated June 9, 2020 - 4:58 pm

A Las Vegas judge Tuesday refused to reduce the $1 million bail for Stephen Parshall, one of three suspected members of the extremist boogaloo movement charged with conspiring to firebomb a power station and cause violence at Black Lives Matter protests.

“At this stage, the evidence against him is overwhelming,” said Justice of the Peace Diana Sullivan, who found Parshall to be a threat and a flight risk.

During the 45-minute hearing, Deputy District Attorney Michael Dickerson called Parshall, 35, an “extreme danger” to the community who deserves to remain in custody.

The hearing came as an arrest report obtained by the Review-Journal shows the men also had plans to “destroy” federal buildings, including a Lake Mead Recreational Area fee station.

Group members “engaged in physical training, firearms tactics and reconnaissance of various target locations,” according to the report.

During a search of one defendant’s home, investigators found handwritten notes of military tactics and possible scouting routes and locations, along with “kill boxes,” survival tactics, fireworks, a bomb and booby traps, the report says.

The three men are expected to “face additional criminal charges” as the investigation proceeds and digital evidence is reviewed, the report states.

Dickerson declined to discuss the case outside the courtroom Tuesday, and Sullivan would not allow livestreaming of the court proceeding.

Parshall’s co-defendants — Andrew Lynam, 23, and William L. Loomis, 40 — are also facing terrorism and explosives charges and separate federal felonies stemming from the conspiracy uncovered by FBI agents who had infiltrated the right-wing extremist group.

All three men, who have military backgrounds, caught the attention of authorities during rallies in April and May against the state’s COVID-19 business shutdown. Lynam and Loomis also are behind bars on $1 million bail.

Their arrests are the first in the country of far-right extremists accused of planning to cause harm at the Black Lives Matter protests, according to Joanna Mendelson, associate director of the Center on Extremism for the Anti-Defamation League.

“The alleged plot of this trio illustrates our concerns about extremists using the momentum and societal turmoil to bring their agendas to fruition,” Mendelson told the Review-Journal last week.

The boogaloo movement, which believes in an impending civil war and ultimate societal collapse, is decentralized with no national leaders and largely organizes and recruits on social media.

In court Tuesday, Parshall was dressed in black jail garb and chains and was wearing thick black mitts as a safety measure to further inhibit his movements. Two uniformed police officers stood next to him throughout the hearing, as his lawyer Robert Draskovich argued for his release to house arrest.

Parshall looked straight ahead and showed no emotion, as his mother watched from the gallery.

Draskovich contended Parshall has no previous criminal record and was a student majoring in geology at the College of Southern Nevada when he and his two co-defendants were arrested by FBI agents on May 30. Draskovich said last week that his client has no affiliation with any right-wing groups.

The lawyer questioned the credibility of the information provided by a confidential FBI informant during the undercover investigation.

But Dickerson argued that there was little doubt Parshall had been actively recruiting people to commit acts of terrorism in Las Vegas.

“He is such an extreme danger to this community that there is nothing else that can protect this community other than detention, other than bail that is that high,” Dickerson said.

The prosecutor told Sullivan that Parshall also is a danger to his children, saying his four daughters had to be removed from his home by child protective services when investigators searched the home. Dickerson would not discuss a separate investigation into that matter. But he said, “The house was in disarray, garbage on the floor. It wasn’t appropriate for the kids to be living there.”

Undercover FBI agents learned that Parshall and his co-defendants were planning to firebomb an NV Energy substation on May 28 to create unrest in Las Vegas, according to the federal complaint.

But the men instead sought to disrupt the Black Lives Matter protests. Agents arrested the trio before a May 30 demonstration downtown after they learned the men were prepared to toss Molotov cocktails at police, the complaint alleges.

FBI agents had the men under surveillance at the time and swooped in “to preserve life and property” at the protest, the arrest report says. The confidential informant and an undercover FBI agent were both with the defendants when they were taken into custody.

A preliminary hearing is set for all three defendants on June 17 before Sullivan to determine whether to send the case to Clark County District Court for trial.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter. German is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing. Support our journalism.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Crime Videos
Arrests Made In Murder Investigation
Nickolas Vonalst, Monika Gonzalez, and a juvenile were arrested following a murder investigation that began on June 23rd, 2020. (Nye County Sheriff's Office/YouTube)
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a homicide
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a homicide at the area of East Flamingo Road and Palos Verde Street on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Police investigate officer-involved shooting in northern Las Vegas - Video
An individual who police say was brandishing a sword was shot and injured by Las Vegas police, prompting a barricade situation in the central Las Vegas Valley on Monday, June 23. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Woman steals truck, fires at officer - Video
Shanita Hearns, 34, of Las Vegas shot at Henderson Police officers after stealing a truck from a gas station at Horizon Drive and Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson on May 31. She was eventually arrested near Tropicana Avenue and Decatur Boulevard after Nevada Highway Patrol officers jumped a median to ram into the side of the truck. (Henderson Police Department)
Mobbed Up - Part Five teaser
A look at some of the interesting reminders of a mob life in the home of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, featured on the fifth episode of the Mobbed Up podcast. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shootings during Las Vegas protest leave 1 dead, officer in critical condition
A Las Vegas police officer was shot and critically injured Monday night. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police briefing on shooting during Black Lives Matter protest
Sheriff Joe Lombardo briefs the media on shootings during the Black Lives Matter protest that left one man dead and a Metro officer in critical condition on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Customer reacts to store looting
Longtime customer Najja Hashim talks about the looting of a neighborhood convenience store. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Search continues for homicide suspects - Video
In October 2017, 62-year-old David Rathbun was reported missing by family members and later found deceased in Arizona. The Las Vegas police homicide section is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 55-year-old Charles Ausiello and 45-year-old Jolene Hibbs who are suspects in Rathbun’s death. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two men were stabbed Thursday morning at a central Las Vegas home - Video
Two men were stabbed at a central Las Vegas home, Thursday morning, May 21, leaving both with life-threatening injuries. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Cellphone tower destroyed In Nye County - Video
The Nye County Sheriff's Office is investigating a cellphone tower being destroyed in Pahrump. (Nye County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Shots Fired in Downtown Las Vegas
Police reported that they were investigating a shooting in which a suspect fired a weapon at officers on Fremont Street on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Police briefing on officer-involved shooting northeast of Las Vegas - VIDEO
Metro Police Department Capt. Nichole Splinter gives a briefing from the scene of an officer-involved shooting at Apex Road and Interstate 15, northeast of Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police ID man killed in officer-involved shooting - VIDEO
A 24-year-old man with a sawed-off shotgun was shot dead by Las Vegas police in front of a red car the man allegedly tried to steal toward the end of car a chase Tuesday with speeds of more than 100 mph through multiple areas of the valley. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police are investigating a homicide
Las Vegas police are investigating a homicide after a man was found deceased in the parking lot of a strip mall at 9640 W. Tropicana Ave. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Homicide briefing
Las Vegas police investigate a homicide in southwest Las Vegas. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police investigate homicide
Las Vegas police investigate a homicide in southwest Las Vegas. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police investigate officer-involved shooting in east valley - VIDEO
Las Vegas police on Tuesday were investigating an officer-involved shooting in the east valley. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nye county detective returns home from hospital - VIDEO
A Nye County Sheriff’s Office detective who was shot in March was released from the hospital Wednesday and is recovering at home with family. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Metro officer arrested for allegedly stealing from K-9 charity
An officer with the Metropolitan Police Department for more than two decades was arrested by the agency on Friday and booked into jail on suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars from a Las Vegas police foundation.
THE LATEST
Nevada high court weighs murder charges in DUIs

The Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned why prosecutors in Las Vegas have decided to charge some DUI suspects with murder, evoking commentary on whether race and wealth played a role.