SAN FRANCISCO – Four members of a Boogaloo movement-affiliated militia group have pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice by destroying records related to an investigation into the killing of a Federal Protective Service officer last year in Oakland, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Kenny Matthew Miksch, 21, of San Lorenzo, pleaded guilty Monday; Jessie Alexander Rush, 29, of Turlock, and Simon Sage Ybarra, 23, of Los Gatos, pleaded guilty Sept. 13; and Robert Jesus Blancas, 33, of Castro Valley, pleaded guilty Aug. 23. The men were indicted in March.
In a news release Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the men admitted in plea agreements to joining an armed anti-government militia group called the “1st Detachment, 1st California Grizzly Scouts” in 2020. They had met earlier via a Facebook group created in connection to the extremist, anti-government Boogaloo movement.
Prosecutors said the men also admitted to holding “training operations” in May 2020 with “operations orders” that labeled law enforcement as potential “enemy forces,” and suggested using lethal force and taking prisoners. In addition, the men acknowledged holding discussions with other Grizzly Scouts in June 2020 about the Boogaloo movement, waging war against the government and tactics for killing police officers.
The plea agreements also detailed how the men conspired to destroy records of their communications and interactions with fellow militia group member Steven Carrillo after they learned of his alleged involvement in deadly attacks on FPS officers in Oakland and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Ben Lomond.
“Specifically, they each admitted in their plea agreements to destroying records associated with the WhatsApp ‘209 Goon HQ’ group, including communications with that Grizzly Scouts member,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in the news release.
In addition, Blancas admitted to destroying files regarding the militia group’s rank structure, an agreement requiring members to maintain confidentiality of group materials, a liability release waiver, descriptions of Grizzly Scouts uniforms, and a scorecard assessing the skills of members in combat, firearms, medical and other training.
Prosecutors said the foursome also admitted they “intended to impair the integrity and availability” of the records for use in official proceedings, including the investigation and prosecution of Carrillo, 32, for the murder of FPS Officer Dave Patrick Underwood and the attempted murder of a second FPS officer on May 29, 2020.
Miksch, Rush and Ybarra each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying records, and Blancas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying records and two counts of destroying records in official proceedings.
In a separate case, Blancas also pleaded guilty to enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Prosecutors said he received at least 77 pornographic photographs and at least 31 videos from the 15-year-old victim between April and September 2020.
Blancas is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 6, Rush on Jan. 10, and Miksch and Ybarra on Feb. 7. They each face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying records. Blancas could also receive the same penalty for each of his two counts of destroying records, as well as 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine for enticing a minor.