The Justice Department apprehended one of the men who had amassed a large arsenal before the presidential inauguration on January 20 — which prosecutors believe was to be a key date in the planning of the attack.
Ian Benjamin Rogers, 45, of Napa, was arrested in mid-January, and Jarrod Copeland, 37, of Vallejo, was arrested this week, the Justice Department said. Both men have yet to be arraigned. Rogers’ attorney declined to comment, and it was not immediately clear if Copeland had a lawyer.
In January, Rogers had told Copeland, “I want to blow up a democrat building bad,” and Copeland responded in agreement, writing, “Plan attack.”
The pair discussed “war” after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Justice Department said.
They also said his text messages “indicate his belief that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, and his intent to attack Democrats and places associated with Democrats in an effort to ensure Trump remained in office,” according to a court filing documenting allegations that supported Rogers’ arrest in January.
Prosecutors also say Rogers had written to Copeland months before, in November, that he wanted to “hit the enemy in the mouth” with homemade explosives attacking the Governor’s Mansion and the Democratic headquarters building in Sacramento, according to the press release.
Copeland had told Rogers he was in touch with an anti-government militia group and also made contact with a militia leader after Rogers’ arrest, who advised him to delete his communications, which he allegedly did, the Justice Department also said.
Investigators found Rogers had a card that said “white privilege trumps everything” and that had other references to Trump.
Both men are charged with conspiracy to destroy by fire or explosive a building used or in affecting interstate commerce.
Rogers also faces weapons charges after investigators found more than 50 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and five pipe bombs at his home in January, shortly after they discussed the plan but before January 20, according to the Justice Department.