Sacramento, Calif. ( Associated Press) — A California man pleaded guilty Friday to plotting to blow up the state Democratic Party headquarters, the first in a planned series of politically motivated attacks following the defeat of former President Donald Trump, prosecutors said. was.
Ian Benjamin Rogers, 46, of Napa, pleaded guilty under a plea agreement of conspiracy to destroy a building by fire or explosives, possessing an explosive device and possessing a machine gun, which could face seven to nine years in federal prison. can bring.
US prosecutors in San Francisco accused Rogers and Jarrod Copeland of conspiring to attack targets linked to Democrats following Trump’s defeat in the November 2020 presidential election.
Prosecutors announced the charges in July, saying the pair “expected that their attacks would inspire a movement.”
Copeland, 38, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and destruction of records.
According to the indictment, “I want to sabotage a democratic building,” Rogers wrote in one of the messaging apps used to communicate with Copeland. In a separate message he said following the inauguration of Democratic President Joe Biden, “we go to war.”
Prosecutors said their first planned target was the John L. Burton was the Democratic headquarters.
Prosecutors said law enforcement officers who searched Rogers’ home in January 2021 seized nearly 50 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and five pipe bombs.
He was taken into custody on state charges after the FBI said he had sent text messages that agents perceived as threats against the exiled governor’s mansion and social media companies Facebook and Twitter.
Rogers’ attorney, Colin Cooper, said that under a universal agreement, Napa County’s charges of possessing fully automatic weapons and explosive devices would carry a federal sentence of 10 to 12 years, along with a state sentence of 10 to 12 years.
Rogers “has never been in trouble before,” Cooper said.
“He has accepted the responsibility and is willing to pay his debt to society and resume a life of productivity by being a good father and a good husband and a good family man,” Cooper said. Told. “He feels terrible about what happened and what he’s done to his family, and he’s a guy I think we’ll never see again in the (criminal justice) system.”
Rogers is in custody awaiting sentencing scheduled for September 30.