weather icon Clear

Alleged boogaloo members ordered detained in federal custody

Updated June 10, 2020 - 9:41 pm

Two suspected members of the right-wing boogaloo movement were ordered detained in federal custody Wednesday on firearms and explosives charges in what authorities say was a plot to cause violence at Black Lives Matter protests.

Following initial hearings on the charges, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe concluded that both Stephen Parshall, 35, and William Loomis, 40, were dangers to the Las Vegas community.

The initial appearance for the third defendant in the federal case, Andrew Lynam, 23, was continued until Tuesday to give his lawyers more time to prepare.

All three men appeared in court through video conferencing from a federal detention center in Pahrump.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Dickinson sought detention for Parshall and Loomis, laying out details of the group’s alleged plans for violence to aid the extremist boogaloo agenda.

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.

The Las Vegas trio was arrested May 30 after FBI agents uncovered the conspiracy, which also included plans to firebomb a power substation and damage federal buildings, Dickinson alleged.

Defense lawyers Robert Draskovich and Monti Jordana Levy, who represent Parshall and Loomis, respectively, argued against detention, saying their clients have strong ties to the community and are not violent people.

All of the defendants also face local terrorism charges.

Draskovich said late Wednesday that Clark County prosecutors notified him they might take the local case against the defendants to a grand jury. If indictments are returned before a June 17 preliminary hearing in Justice Court, there would be no need to conduct the hearing. The case would go directly to District Court for trial.

All three defendants, who have military backgrounds, were originally set to make their initial appearances in federal court on June 15, but the proceedings were moved up without explanation.

At a hearing in Justice Court on Tuesday, a judge refused to reduce Parshall’s $1 million bail in the local case, saying there was “overwhelming evidence against him.”

The defendants caught the attention of the FBI during rallies in April and May against the state’s COVID-19 business shutdown.

Their arrests were the first in the country of far-right extremists accused of planning to incite violence at the Black Lives Matter protests.

FBI agents learned that the defendants were planning to firebomb a NV Energy substation on May 28 to create unrest in Las Vegas, according to a federal complaint.

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

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.
Politics Videos
'Evangelicals for Trump' event draws hundreds to Las Vegas hotel - VIDEO
Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters packed the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas for a faith-based campaign event. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak names new DETR director, head of unemployment task force - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak named Elisa Cafferata acting director of Nevada’s Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation and announced Barbara Buckley as the leader of a rapid response team on unemployment insurance at a press briefing Thursday afternoon. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak unveils long-term COVID-19 plan with Nevada Health Response team - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Monday a long-term strategy for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in Nevada through a targeted approach. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak: Bars in four counties to stay closed - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak said bars in four counties, including Clark County, will remain closed to help fight COVID-19. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
COVID-19 case reported at Legislature's special session - Video
A person who was inside the Nevada Legislature Building has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erdoes said Friday, July 10. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump Pushing for Reopening Schools and In-Person Learning - Video
Donald Trump launched an effort on Wednesday to reopen schools across the United States with in-person learning.
Special session to tackle $1.2B budget deficit in special session Wednesday - VIDEO
Closing the state’s $1.2 billion budget hole will be the prime focus of the upcoming special legislative session that will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Carson City, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lawmakers to tackle $1.2B budget deficit in special session Wednesday - VIDEO
Closing the state’s $1.2 billion budget hole will be the prime focus of the upcoming special legislative session that will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Carson City, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Democratic leaders resign
Several key Clark County Democratic Party leaders have resigned as progressive leadership has swelled in recent months.
Dream Big Nevada celebrates DACA ruling - VIDEO
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections under DACA for 650,000 young immigrants. Astrid Silva, founder of Dream Big Nevada, discusses the temporary victory and the next step for Dreamers.
Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of city council meeting - Video
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of a City Council meeting during public comments.
Mitt Romney marches in Washington, D.C., protest - Video
On Sunday, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah joined a group of protesters marching through Washington, D.C. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada gyms, bars that do not serve food can reopen Friday - VIDEO
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday evening said Phase 2 of the state’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery will begin on Friday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Rep. Horsford admits to having affair - VIDEO
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford admitted to having an affair with Gabriela Linder, a former intern for Sen. Harry Reid. Linder detailed her account of the affair in a podcast she called, "Mistress for Congress." (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)