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DESCRIPTION: Ian Rogers of Napa and Jarrod Copeland of Vallejo were arrested and charged with plotting to blow up the Democrats Sacramento headquarters in 2021. Investigators seized 49 guns and several pipe bombs from Rogers and more guns from Copeland. Prosecutors alleged that the two were specifically motivated to violence by President Donald Trump’s election loss, the lie that the election was stolen, and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. They belonged to a radical right wing ideology called the Three Percenters, which was founded in 2008 by militia leader Mike Vanderboegh in reaction to the election of President Barack Obama. The loosely-affiliated movement has many different groups under different names. Rogers and Copeland belonged to the Three Percent United Patriots or 3UP, a national group founded by Mike Morris in Colorado that organized and recruited on Facebook and conducted rogue border patrols in Arizona. Prior to his arrest, Rogers had numerous contacts with law enforcement, including a domestic violence arrest he was not prosecuted for. Some Solano County Sheriff’s deputies have displayed support for the Three Percenter movement online, including Daniel “Cully” Pratt, the brother of actor Chris Pratt, Sgt. Roy Stockton, also a Vacaville city councilmember, and Deputy Dale Matsuoka, the department’s homeless outreach coordinator. Sheriff Tom Ferrara said that before Jan. 6, he had never heard of Three Percenters. Guests: Shane Bauer, a reporter who went undercover with 3UP in 2016 for Mother Jones, and Kurt Braddock, a fellow in the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University.
JAN 6 CLIP: We were invited! We were invited here! We were invited by the President of the United States!
On Jan. 6th, 20-21… like so many others in America… Ian Rogers and Jarrod Copeland were glued to their TVs. Rogers… a mechanic in Napa… and Copeland… a Vallejo resident and salesman who used to work for Rogers… were texting each other throughout the day.
They had actually been texting back and forth for months… about who they wanted to attack… after President Donald Trump lost his re-election…
ANCHOR 1: As I'm watching this, I am stunned by what I'm seeing. I think it's fair to say, astonishment.
ANCHOR 2: Yeah, these are images we never expected to see in our great country.
ANCHOR 3: I'm now just hearing and getting from the chief Pentagon spokesman that the DC guard has been mobilized to provide support to federal law enforcement in the district.
“I say we storm the capital armed on the 19,” Rogers wrote to Copeland… according to transcriptions of their conversation released by the California Highway Patrol.
“We gotta organize and do it. Mobilize the 3%.”
“Copy” …Copeland responded.
Copeland would later tell Rogers that his wife was crying and rubbing his back as he watched Trump supporters storm the Capitol… trying to stop the counting of ballots in the 2020 election.
JAN 6 CLIP: Hang Mike Pence Hang Mike Pence!
“Please don’t leave me” …Copeland recounted that his wife told him. “I don’t know what to do without you.”
But Rogers and Copeland… believing the Big Lie that the 20-20 election was fraudulent… were convinced they may need to sacrifice their lives… for what they thought was the greater good.
KCRA: This is the building at the center of an attack thwarted by the FBI. Two men, 45-year-old Ian Rogers and 37-year-old Sacramento man Jarrod Copeland are both now facing a slew of federal charges, accused of creating the plan…
Federal prosecutors have said that domestic terrorists like Rogers and Copeland QUOTE “come out of nowhere…”
But an investigation by the Vallejo Sun shows that Rogers had several contacts with law enforcement… before he’d conspire in a terrorist plot against California Democrats.
Rogers had fired automatic weapons at an illegally operating gun club near Fairfield.
ROGERS SHOOTING: “Ready when you are…”
And was arrested for domestic violence in 20-20… after a neighbor called police to Rogers’ house.
CALL 2 [0:13]: DISPATCHER: Okay, what's going on there?
CALLER: I just witnessed some domestic violence with our nextdoor neighbor.
But the Napa County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute on that alleged domestic violence incident.
As a result… law enforcement never searched Rogers’ home… which would have turned up nearly 50 guns… including several illegal fully automatic weapons.
Rogers and Copeland subscribed to an extreme anti-government ideology called the Three Percenters… which started in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president… and whose adherents believe they are preparing for a second civil war.
VANDERBOEGH [10:46]: The new king Barack and his minions have determined to disarm us. We must be determined to resist them.
Three Percenters were involved in standoffs with the federal government… bombing plots across the country… the attempted kidnapping of the governor of Michigan… and the January Sixth attack on the Capitol.
But when Solano County Sheriff’s deputies were revealed to have displayed the symbols publicly… their sheriff said that he had never heard of them.
BOS MEETING FERRARA [2:04:48]: I really didn't even know what a Three Percenter was before January 6. Honestly, I didn't. Although the community says, ‘We don’t believe that…”
My name is Brian Krans. I’m a reporter with the Vallejo Sun. In this episode… we’re going to break down and update a story my colleague Scott Morris has been reporting on regarding extremism in the North Bay. That’s included how President Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election inspired a thwarted plot to attack political targets in California… how the attackers’ radical right wing ideology has been gathering power for years… and the evidence that suggests it may even be present in Solano County law enforcement.
BRADDOCK [5:17]: County Sheriff's are actually particularly important in the Three Percenter ideology, given that they are the ones who are seen as being on the ground and understanding the community they're operating in, where the federal government can't really. They say the federal government can't really be able to govern people properly at the local level.
VANDERBOEGH [1:38]: The Three Percent movement that I founded, has been denounced by that paragon of moral virtue Bill Clinton. And I'm a perennial, honorable mention in the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of dangerous folks.
The Southern Poverty Law Center… which, among other things, tracks hate groups across the United States… recently reported that following the January 6th insurrection… “hate and extremist groups worked feverishly” with like-minded right-wing leaders and media to undermine American democracy. In its most recent newsletter… the S-P-L-C said while the number of hate groups continues to decline in the last six years… QUOTE “the extremist ideas that mobilize them now operate more openly in the political mainstream.” End quote.
One of those groups is the Three Percenter movement. It was founded in 2008 by Mike Vanderboegh… a longtime militia member from Alabama… who feared the Obama Administration would attempt to seize guns by force… threatening a second Civil War.
[fade in applause]
VANDERBOEGH 00:02: Is Mike Vanderbough here?
Vanderboegh remained active in the movement until he died in 2016. Here he is speaking at a gun rally in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2013.
VANDERBOEGH [5:26]: Barack Obama supports the Second Amendment just about as much as Adolf Hitler appreciated Jewish culture or Joseph Stalin believed in individual liberty.
The Three Percenter name that Vanderboegh came up with refers to a false belief that only three percent of American colonists overthrew the British in the Revolutionary War. They believe that it would take only about three percent of Americans today… or about 10 million people… to overthrow the federal government… which they see as a tyrannical… occupying power.
VANDERBOEGH [10:46]: The new king Barack and his minions have determined to disarm us, we must be determined to resist them. No one wants to have a new civil war, except apparently the anti-constitutional tyrants who pass these laws and their media toadies who cheer them on. But one is staring us in the face. I repeat that: civil war is staring us in the face. To think otherwise is whistling past the graveyard of our own history. We must, if we wish to avoid armed conflict, get across this message to the collectivists, who have declared their appetites for our liberty, our property and our lives. When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote.
BAUER [19:19]: Vanderboegh himself had been involved in the early militia movement, which came about under Bill Clinton in reaction to his assault weapons ban. He was kind of trying to modernize the movement in a sense and so Three Percenter kind of became this sort of grassroots movement, right-wing movement.
Shane Bauer is an award-winning investigative journalist… who went undercover with a faction of the Three Percenters… in 2016 while they were doing rogue border patrols in Arizona. Vallejo Sun reporter Scott Morris recently spoke with Bauer about that reporting.
BAUER [19:47]: And you would see trucks with the Roman numeral three was kind of how is represented. So it was just a kind of signal that they could recognize each other with and then from that movement. There started to be people that tried to form actual militias from them to take it beyond this kind of vague idea, and actually organize.
SCOTT [20:16]: And this is all pretty much a direct reaction to the election of Barack Obama. Right?
BAUER [20:20]: Yeah. So during the Bill Clinton presidency there's the Oklahoma City bombing but before the Oklahoma City bombing there was a kind of a huge rise in, are really the start of these militia groups and they were growing fast and then Oklahoma City bombing happened, which kind of create a backlash against this militia movement. And then Bush became president and they really were very minimal during the Bush years there wasn't really much militia activity. And then when Obama was elected there was a huge resurgence. There were suddenly hundreds of militia groups that formed in reaction to his presidency basically.
When Bauer became interested in reporting on militias… he sought them out through Facebook… and quickly built a network of people interested in a violent uprising against the federal government.
BAUER [5:22]: Basically, what I did was I was looking around the internet, looking at Facebook, that there are a ton of militia pages. So I started a new account, I used my real name, but I didn't really put much information about myself on the Facebook page, and I just kind of start liking militia Facebook groups. A nice thing about using Facebook to search for things is that it will eventually, if you like enough things, are sending a friend request, somebody will start suggesting to you pages to like, so it was just sending me these militia pages.
BAUER [7:00]: I linked up with some groups in California, went to some trainings. And I noticed that a group called the 3% United Patriots had pages in states around the country. They, along with some other groups, were trying to do a similar thing, were kind of trying to create, like a national type militia, where in the past in, say in the Bill Clinton years, militias were all kind of hyperlocal. There was kind of a new theme, during the Obama presidency, where there was an attempt to create kind of national militias that had local branches. And I saw in the 3% United Patriots page that they were posting an operation, it was called Operation Spring Break, and it was a closed, actually a closed page. And I just kind of clicked the button to request access to the page, and they just let me in. And, there was a post in there that said, ‘We're doing this operation on the border, who's in?” So I just responded to it and said, I’m in. I didn't know anybody in the group, And then they post the coordinates that we're supposed to go to, and I basically fly to Arizona, rent a truck, I bring a rifle, camo, the whole kind of militia get up. And I drive to the coordinates. It's, it's kind of out in the desert, near the U.S.-Mexico border, and I show up at basically just kind of like militia base.
The Three Percent United Patriots… also known as Three-Up… was a group founded in Colorado by Mike Morris… who went by the name 50 Cal during the Arizona operation.
Mike Morris also was involved in the 1990s militia movements. Here he is speaking at a recruiting event in Colorado that was posted to YouTube two years ago.
MIKE MORRIS [13:59]: I've been involved in the Patriot/militia movement for nearly 30 years. I got involved in Colorado militia in my teens. And then I headed off to the Marine Corps.
Mike Morris said he was inspired to start Three-Up after he met Mike Vanderboegh.
MIKE MORRIS [16:34]: I was involved with some of the Colorado militia groups, and some of the other militia groups around the country, Michigan militia, that kind of thing. And then I got involved with Three Percenters. And I actually met and spoke with Mike Vanderboegh who really coined the term 3%.
And by then Mike Morris was leading the largest Three Percenter group in the country.
MIKE MORRIS [17:50]: So we've seen numerous Three Percenter groups pop up across the country. Three Up, what we all are part of here, is still the largest Three Percent group in the nation. And Colorado has always been kind of the leading state in that organization. Things that happen here are oftentimes then recreated in other states.
SCOTT [12:33]: So, what was your sense of Three Up as an organization? So you said, most of these guys were coming down from Colorado, including Mike Morris, 50 Cal. And so it seems like this disorganization was kind of centered in Colorado, but what was its reach at that point? Did you get any sense of that, or kind of how broad it was?
BAUER [12:52]: It's hard to tell how broad it was. Because it's hard to judge from Facebook is what they would do. And what some other groups did was, somebody basically starts a page for every state and they kind of try to start groups by doing that, so they'll make a California page and say, ‘Hey, let's get a train together, who's who's up for it?’ and they basically bring these people together through the internet. It's kind of a precursor to the much more internet savvy kind of alt right type people. Militia guys generally are not big internet people, but Three UP was maybe, kind of, the cutting edge of that.
Mike Morris knew the value of Facebook as a recruiting tool.
MIKE MORRIS [20:23]: But one thing is, Three Up is not a Facebook group. Facebook is merely a tool that we use to help throw out some messages. And it's a great recruiting tool. But I see it all the time on the Facebook pages: ‘What’s the plan?’
BAUER [14:12]: They're basically trying to kind of organize groups by creating these Facebook pages. And they have people who are following their main page that are interested in militia, so they will then basically say, “Hey, Northern California who's going to start a training? you know, step up kind of thing.
There was… in fact… a faction of Three-Up operating in California.
[fade up bells AMBI]
Ian Rogers opened his repair shop… British Auto Repair of the Napa Valley… in 2007. The business is on a dead-end street surrounded by other car businesses with an outdoor wine garden on the corner.
It’s just a few blocks from the Napa River and downtown Napa… where dozens of high-end restaurants serve wine grown in the surrounding valley. Throngs of visitors flock there every weekend for a night out.
[restaurant ambi break]
The Napa Valley Wine Train chugs past Rogers’ building every day.
[wine train bells]
The FBI tip that implicated Rogers in a bombing plot also said that he belonged to Three-Up. He was active in a private Facebook group called Three-Up CA Zone 4… Zone Four being the San Francisco Bay Area… which had 24 members in 20-20.
The tipster also told the FBI that only Three-Up members were allowed to shoot at Twin Sisters Gun Club… a 160-acre wooded plot just outside of Fairfield… in western Solano County.
A video that allegedly shows Rogers firing an illegal fully-automatic AK-47 with a 75-round drum at Twin Sisters… was provided to the FBI. The Vallejo Sun published it last year.
[ROGERS SHOOTING, laughter following]
Solano County authorities found out the club was operating illegally in 2016. Its owner… Facebook engineer Thomas Bock… engaged in a lengthy legal fight in an attempt to overturn the decision… before selling the property in 2018.
But neighbors complained that they continued to hear gunfire well after it was supposed to be closed. One neighbor sent a video to the county that showed him narrowly avoiding being shot.
NEIGHBOR VIDEO: “...Shit. Shit. Shit. That was close. This is what I’m talking about.”
NEWS REPORT TRUMP ELECTED: “...capping his improbable political journey…”
Following the presidential election of Donald Trump in 2016… far-right extremists grew more emboldened. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists held a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017… which included some participants wearing Three Percenter emblems.
AUDIO FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE
Since then… Three Percenters have been implicated in several violent plots across the country.
NEWSHOUR HISTORY OF MILITIAS [5:00]: militias have long been active in the U.S., but they've been recently energized by two key events: Last year's occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon by anti-government activist Amon Bundy. The 2014 standoff in Nevada where Bundy’s father, backed by militiamen, squared off with federal officials over grazing rights on public lands.
PBS Newshour’s P.J. Tobia (Toe-bee-uh) asked one Three Percent militia leader in Georgia about what Trump’s election meant for his movement.
NEWSHOUR HISTORY OF MILITIAS TOBIA [5:00]: For the Georgia Three Percenters, Donald Trump's election sends a signal.
CHRIS HILL: With a Trump victory, That gives me a little bit of hope where I had none. That we can turn the tide against these communist Marxist socialist ideas of governing.
On August 5th, 2017… about a week before the Unite the Right rally… former sheriff’s deputy Michael Hari and two other men… planned and executed the bombing of a Mosque in Minnesota.
Hari identified himself as the leader of a white supremacist militia group called the “White Rabbit Three Percent Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters Militia” on a YouTube page… where he spoke directly into the camera while wearing a ski mask.
HARI YOUTUBE: Friends, our country has never been in the kind of danger it is right now. Never seen this before. It's never been so bad as it is today. Let's not let it get any worse. Let's take a stand for Liberty right now. I'm asking every one of you to consider your children and your family and the future of this country. Yes, we had a victory with Trump. That's a great thing. I'm not sure that Trump's 100% devoted to what we are, but he seems like a good guy and seems like he's on our side. He's one man. He's at the top. He's all by himself. He's being resisted left and right by the Justice Department. Let's go over the facts. We just learned…
Hari was convicted of federal bombing and hate crime charges in 20-20.
On August 12th, 2017… the FBI arrested Jerry Varnell after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be a bomb in a van that he’d parked in an alley next to an Oklahoma bank.
FOX REPORT: According to court documents Varnell claimed he was acting on behalf of a group called the Three Percenters. That group has hundreds of members right here in Oklahoma. Fox 25’s Jennifer Paul setting has been researching this group. She is live.
He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.
In 2020… members of an extremist militia group were charged with the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Court records indicate that at least two of the alleged participants… Adam Fox and Barry Croft… are associated with the Three Percenter movement.
WDIV [1:30]: Sources say Croft is a President Trump-hating anti-government true believer who allegedly wanted to murder government officials in multiple states. We’re told Croft as part of the anti government movement called the Three Percenters and he hosts a…
A jury deadlocked on charges against Croft and Fox in April… and they are expected to be retried.
Meanwhile… Ian Rogers’ politics grew even more radical… and police were twice called to his home… first by his wife… and then by a neighbor…. who said he had witnessed an assault.
CALL 1: Napa Dispatch…
Rogers’ wife called police on March 29th, 2020. She told a dispatcher that Rogers had cut off her credit card… and threatened to cut off her cell phone service the next day… and to throw her out of the house… in two weeks.
CALL 1 [2:41]: Right now he's trying to kick me out from the house…
Rogers’ wife also advised the dispatcher that he was armed.
CALL 1 [5:33]: DISPATCHER: And then your fiance, does he have any weapons?
[speaking in Russian]
CALLER: Yes he has weapons but he has a permit.
DISPATCHER: He has a permit for what, a gun?
DISPATCHER: Do you know where the gun is? Is it on his person or is it locked away?
CALLER: He’s always very careful with the gun.
DISPATCHER: Okay, what is his name?
Police responded to the home… but did not arrest Rogers at that time.
Then on August 18th, 2020… police responded to Roger’s home… again… this time after a neighbor called 9-1-1 and said Rogers had dragged his wife across their driveway… while they both seemed to be dressed for bed.
CALL 2 [0:13]: DISPATCHER: Okay, what's going on there?
CALLER: I just witnessed some domestic violence with our nextdoor neighbor.
DISPATCHER: Okay, and what were you seeing? Exactly? Were they physically fighting or is it verbal?
CALLER: Yeah, well to a point where he was chasing the lady out of his house and dragged her on to the floor, and then they all went back inside.
CALL 2 [0:59]: CALLER: And her son then came out. Asked me to call the police.
DISPATCHER: Okay, how old is the son?
CALLER: He's 10 years old.
DISPATCHER: Okay. All right. Where's he at now? Is he with you?
CALLER: No, he went back into the house. Okay. And another dog to run loose on the courtyard.
DISPATCHER: Okay, all right. And any weapons seen?
CALLER: I didn't see any weapons and I asked what was wrong and he said that she was acting crazy.
DISPATCHER: Who was acting crazy
CALLER: he said that she was acting crazy
DISPATCHER: Okay, all right. Any implicit dark alcohol to your knowledge are
CALLER: ya know that he drinks. He's a heavy drinker.
According to the American Canyon police report of the incident… officers arrived and spoke to Rogers’ wife… who said that Rogers had become angry and yelled at her… when she had asked him about him talking to another woman. She said that she would call 9-1-1 if he did not stop yelling… and left the house.
Rogers followed and tried to take her phone.
The report says she fell down in the driveway… but she told officers that Rogers didn’t push her down… and that she didn’t want him arrested. Officer Marcus Solis noted in his report that Rogers’ wife had a one-inch gash on her head… dried blood in her hair… and a scrape that QUOTE “appeared to be road rash” on her right shoulder.
Rogers was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence… and a misdemeanor… for trying to prevent his wife from summoning help.
Kurt Braddock is an assistant professor of communications at American University and a fellow in the school’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab. He said that researchers are beginning to discover a link between a history of violence… particularly domestic violence… and violence committed with political motives.
BRADDOCK [3:37]: There's a really, really interesting body of research that just only recently starting to get built, that shows that a lot of individuals especially lone actor, individual individuals who operate on their own, they tend to have some background of violence, and oftentimes, that is domestic violence. There seems to be a connection, given what the research shows so far, between aggression towards women and aggression towards others in the home and proclivity for political violence down the road.
The Napa County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Ian Rogers. In an email… Napa County Assistant District Attorney Paul Gero told the Sun… QUOTE “The case was rejected for lack of sufficient evidence.” End quote.
Had the case been prosecuted… Rogers could have been forced to surrender his guns… and investigators may have discovered his large collection of illegal weapons… months before he would allegedly plan to use them in a politically motivated attack.
CNN [0:14]: CNN projects that Joseph R. Biden Jr. is elected the 46th president…
After Joe Biden was elected president in November 2020… President Trump refused to admit his defeat… instead spreading lies and conspiracy theories that the election had been stolen through fraud.
That included speaking at a Pennsylvania state Senate hearing on November 25th, 2020.
TRUMP [7:06]: This election was lost by the Democrats. They cheated. It was a fraudulent election. They flooded the market.
Trump’s election loss and his statements questioning the legitimacy of the vote specifically motivated Ian Rogers and Jarrod Copeland to plan violence… according to their eventual prosecutors.
In text messages released through court filings and public records requests… Rogers and Copeland discussed a variety of potential targets… including the California governor’s mansion… the Democrats’ headquarters in Sacramento… and the offices of Twitter and Facebook… the latter of which’s CEO… Mark Zuckerberg… Rogers described with an anti-Semitic slur.
“If they don't listen to trump they will hear us” … is what records show Copeland texted Rogers on November 30th, 2020.
Copeland said in another undated message QUOTE… “We don't need to win over 50,000 people we need 500 pissed off patriots that want America back.” End quote.
On an unknown date… Rogers texted Copeland that QUOTE “I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn't I will.”
AMBI: [Thompson oath… Jan. 6…]
The January Sixth House Select Committee was formed after the 2021 attack on the Capitol to investigate how the events unfolded… and… in a recent series of public hearings… have documented how Trump’s words… which he knew to be wrong… motivated his supporters to violence.
JAN. 6 COMMITTEE DAY 1 [1:12:51]: BENNIE THOMPSON: Donald Trump lost the presidential election in 2020. The American people voted him out of office. It was not because of a rigged system. It was not because of voter fraud.
The committee has documented how Trump’s own advisors told him in the days and weeks after the election that he had legitimately lost. That included people like then-Attorney General Bill Barr.
BARR: Repeatedly told the president in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud.
Trump’s supporters threatened violence even against Republican elected officials… who refused to go along with Trump’s stolen election claims. In one committee hearing… Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers testified that after he refused to comply with Trump’s demands that he overturn Arizona’s election results… a man wearing Three Percenter insignia threatened one of his neighbors.
JAN. 6 HEARING 6/21 [2:07:07]: BOWERS: I don’t know if I should name groups but there was one gentleman who had the three bars on his chest and he had a pistol…
The committee pointed to a tweet Trump sent on December 19th — “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” — as leading to coordination between far right-groups to commit violence during the joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 election.
JAN. 6 HEARING 7/12 [2:04:45]: Dr. Donnell Harvin, who is the chief of Homeland Security and intelligence for DC, told the committee how his team saw Trump’s Dec. 19 tweet unite violent groups across the spectrum…
HARVIN: …These non-aligned groups were aligning.
The groups that answered Trump’s call… and coordinated their activities… included another national militia… the Oathkeepers… the white supremacist group the Proud Boys… and the Three Percenters
JAN. 6 HEARING 7/12 [2:06:57]: On Dec. 19 at 10:22 a.m., just hours after President Trump’s tweet, Kelly Meggs, the head of the Florida Oathkeepers, declared an alliance among the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys, and the Florida Three Percenters, another militia group. He wrote, ‘We have decided to work together and shut this shit down.’ Phone records obtained…
Prosecutors say that Ian Rogers and Jarrod Copeland were even more motivated to commit violence while watching the events of January Sixth.
Rogers texted Copeland the following day QUOTE: “Why are we the only ones willing to fight for this country? I don't get it.”
Later that day, Copeland texted Rogers, “I got warpaint on my ding ding and I'm ready for battle. Time for war bro I see no other way”
Copeland responded “I agree.”
“I'm thinking sac office first target,” Rogers wrote. “Then maybe bird and face offices” …which prosecutors believe referred to Twitter and Facebook.
But the FBI had already been alerted to Rogers and Copeland… and the two wouldn’t be able to carry out any attack.
On January 15th, 2021, investigators with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI raided Rogers’ home and business… where they discovered a cache of nearly 50 guns… including illegal automatic weapons… some 15-thousand rounds of ammo… and several pipe bombs.
DISPATCH AUDIO: AMANDA: Napa dispatch, Amanda.
BROWN: This is Cecil Brown from the Sheriff's Department.
BROWN [0:12]: I'm on the search warrant on action in Napa
AMANDA [0:29]: Are you guys still on that card?
BROWN: Yes, we're still here. And we're very soon, we're going to destroy some destructive devices. So you might get calls about explosions.
But Rogers' defense attorney… Jess Raphael… told NBC Bay Area that Rogers was not prone to violence… and his pipe bombs were just for entertainment.
NBC NEWS [0:55]: He does not belong to any of these groups… But when he drinks, he spouts off.
Prosecutors say that Copeland learned of Rogers’ arrest the next day… and reached out to a leader in the Three Percenter group they belonged to. That leader advised him to delete his communications with Rogers… and Copeland agreed.
Prosecutors have not named or charged anyone else associated with the group.
The next day… the sheriff’s office and FBI searched Copeland’s home in Vallejo… where they recovered more guns and some steroids.
COPELAND RAID DISPATCH: CHP: Hey, could we please get a unit to do 1148 for us?
DISPATCH: All right.
CHP: We are at 1170 Jack London drive in Vallejo.
DISPATCH: All right.
CHP: And they don’t have to get here to like immediately they can. if it takes them 20 minutes, that's fine. We're out on a joint operation with the FBI. I don’t know if a log has been started or not.
But when they searched Copeland’s electronic devices… his communications with Rogers had been erased.
On July 7th, 20-21… Rogers and Copeland were indicted in federal court for conspiring to maliciously destroy a building by fire. Rogers was also charged with possessing pipe bombs and machine guns… and Copeland was charged with destruction of evidence.
In May… Rogers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to destroy a building by fire or explosives and weapons charges… and is awaiting sentencing. His state charges are still pending.
Jan. 6 AMBI fade under…
In the weeks and months after January Sixth… numerous people have been arrested, charged and convicted for the attack on the Capitol. That includes the leaders of the Oathkeepers and Proud Boys… who have been charged with seditious conspiracy… and others associated with the Three Percenter movement.
Four Southern California men affiliated with the Three Percenter movement were charged with conspiracy. Another defendant in the same indictment was the former police chief of La Habra.
KTLA REPORT: Allen Hostetter is well known in Orange County and elsewhere for his belief that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. This is the former La Habra police chief at a West Coast stop the steel rally after Donald Trump lost the election.
HOSTETTER: The enemies and traders of America both foreign and domestic must be held accountable. And they will there must be long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup.
REPORTER: But federal prosecutors say his activity went beyond free speech. They say he…
A Texas Three Percenter who entered the Capitol with a pistol and zip ties was found guilty of five criminal counts in March… following the first jury trial stemming from the attack. He is facing up to 15 years in prison.
CBS REPORT: It could be a bellwether for the hundreds of cases arising from last year's riot. Here CBS is Scott McFarlane.
REPORTER: Guy Reffitt of Wylie Texas never made it into the Capitol on January 6, but armed with a semi automatic handgun and zip ties he confronted police outside the building and weighed the mob in later boasting of his exploits…
But over the years… some law enforcement officers… including in Solano County… have demonstrated support for far-right movements like the Three Percenters.
CBS SACRAMENTO: Solano County Sheriff's sergeant and brother of actor Chris Pratt is accused of showing support for a right wing extremist group Sergeant Callie Pratt seen here posted a wooden carving on social media that made references to the three percenters movement anti in February 2021.
In February 2021… the Vallejo Sun’s Scott Morris reported that three members of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office had posted overt support for the Three Percenter movement on Facebook and Instagram.
CBS SACRAMENTO [0:30]: Tonight, the Solano County sheriff is defending his employees and his statement to CBS 13 Sheriff Thomas Ferrara said quote, “I am not aware of one instance where any of these employees acted in a manner that was portrayed in this article.” He goes on to say the employees told him that their intention was to support the Second Amendment and the US Constitution.
Pratt later released his own statement.
FOX40 [0:12]: Pratt releasing a statement exclusively to FOX40 tonight… quote, “I am not a member associated nor do I condone extremist, radical or anti government views. I do not support hate or racism towards anybody. I do not condone violent or seditious behavior.” End quote, that statement coming in response to an investigation
Here’s Scott… also speaking to Fox 40 out of Sacramento.
FOX40 [1:03]: The Three Percenters is a group that has been involved in bombings across the country…
Scott further discussed his reporting in an interview with KQED… describing how Deputy Dale Matsuoka (Mat-soo-oh-kah).. in particular… did little to hide his affinity for the Three Percenters.
SCOTT KQED [10:49]: So the the main people in the story is Sergeant Roy Stockton who had a metal crafts and leather work store that he was selling three percenter memorabilia online. He'd been doing that for quite a while. And both. He had Instagram accounts for both of these stores, and would frequently share 3% images and messages and some of them condone violence. He shared one in 2016 with a bunch of guns, and said getting ready for the election tomorrow. His friend, his good friend, is Sergeant Cully Pratt, who happens to be the actor Chris Pratt’s brother, and he has a woodworking business and he similarly sells kind of political items through his woodworking business, including one thing that he made for Sergeant Stockton and he seems very proud of that was a a board with a 3% symbol on it.
SCOTT KQED [12:05]: And then the last person that we reported about is Deputy Dale Matsuoka, and he's the sheriff's homeless outreach coordinator. So he's got he's been with the sheriff's office a long time. He's very prominent position there. And I mean, his stuff was just very blatant 3% all over his Facebook page and then lots of photos of himself in uniform. So these guys just were not hiding their affiliation with the sheriff's office at all.
SCOTT KQED [4:56]: It surprised me that it was very overt. I’ve sort of seen hints of Three Percenter activity in Solano County, in particular, for a while, I hadn't connected directly to any law enforcement officers until I saw that particular Facebook profile. But, you know, I suspected there might be some overlap.
Kurt Braddock… the American University researcher… said that some Three Percenters see local law enforcement… and more specifically sheriff’s offices… as more legitimate than the federal government.
BRADDOCK [5:00]: well, the three percenters themselves, their ideology surrounds really the idea that they have to defend the Constitution that the federal government can't really protect us and that the law of the land should be law enforcement more at the local level. County Sheriff's are actually particularly important in the three percenter ideology, given that they are the ones who are seen as being on the ground and understanding the community they're operating in where the federal government can't really, they say the federal government can't really be able to govern people properly at the local level.
Following the revelations of Three Percenter support in the Solano sheriff’s office… community activists then requested that Solano County supervisors create an oversight board of the sheriff’s office… under recently enacted legislation… AB 11-85.
[gavel] Good morning and welcome to the Solano County Board of Supervisors meeting for Tuesday, November 2, 2021
The Board of Supervisors held a meeting in November 2021… where Sheriff Tom Ferrara]… for the first time… publicly discussed Three Percenters, and other issues in his office.
SUPERVISOR MEETING 11/2/21TOM FERRARA: so when this came to light, and I'm sure many people were like me, I really didn't even know what a three percenter was before January 6. Honestly, I didn't. And although the community says we don't believe that, I'm telling you I didn't know what a Three Percenter was had no idea So as this thing proceeded along it, , it appeared to us it was more of a Second Amendment support after January 6, I totally changed that. So since January 6, we've had training, we brought two training providers in to talk about extreme organizations. We’ve had the FBI come in…
Ferrara went on to say that after January Sixth… if a deputy continued to display Three Percenter symbols… he would fire them.
FERRARA [2:05:32]: I will tell you, though, if there was any of those symbols after January 6, now that we know what that means, I would discipline and remove them from employment.
All of the aforementioned deputies had Three Percenter symbols on their social media pages after January Sixth. Deputy Matsuoka… even left them up after Scott’s initial article came out.
Ferrara (Fer-rah-rah) had also said the FBI cleared his deputies… but the FBI disputed that. Ferrara later said he was misunderstood.
FERRARA [2:06:06]: And when I spoke to the FBI, when this first came up, you know, I had asked, Were any of my people in the Capitol on January 6? The answer was no. We're any of my people on an active watch list that, you know, for extremist sites? The answer is no. I have nothing that's changed that since then, we've done some education for our employees to say this is what extreme groups are, here's the symbols they show. And you need to be aware of that.
The sheriff insisted that his organization didn’t have any problems… and he was just the victim of a biased media.
FERRARA [2:08:15]: The reason why I'm taking a little sensitively is my organization is extremely well run, right. And what we have is we have a biased media that takes an end, like there's several things I can't talk about. I would love to get up here. And when you said, ‘We want to know what's going on the sheriff's office,’ I'd love to come up and tell you, but I'm limited in some of the things I can talk about because of active lawsuits in the snap, I guarantee you when the one that's going on now, when that's ended, it's not going to be what the folks are speaking about, because the truth is different.
FERRERA: I can’t share that publicly. I wish I could.
The supervisors… one of whom is a former sheriff’s lieutenant… declined to enact any oversight.
This has been a production of the Vallejo Sun. This episode was reported and written by Scott Morris. I… Brian Krans… am the host, producer and editor. Together with our colleague John Glidden… we are the Vallejo Sun… the most productive newsroom covering Vallejo and Solano County here in Northern California.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Three Percenters
- Three Percent United Patriots
- Ian Rogers
- Jarrod Copeland
- Solano County Sheriff's Office
- Tom Ferrara
- Dale Matsuoka
- Cully Pratt
- Roy Stockton
- Shane Bauer
- Kurt Braddock
- American University
- Donald Trump
- Mike Vanderboegh
- Mike Morris
- Barack Obama
- Napa County District Attorney's Office
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Twin Sisters Gun Club
- Jess Raphael
- Solano County Board of Supervisors
- Mitch Mashburn
Brian Krans is a reporter in the East Bay who covers public health, from cops to COVID. He has written for the Oaklandside, Healthline, California Healthline and the Appeal.
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