Over 300 People Facing Federal Charges For Crimes Committed During Nationwide Demonstrations

The Department of Justice announced today that more than 300 individuals in 29 states and Washington, D.C., have been charged for crimes committed adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations since the end of May.

To date, of the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs), more than 40 USAOs have filed federal charges alleging crimes ranging from attempted murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer, arson, burglary of a federally-licensed firearms dealer, damaging federal property, malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, unlawful possession of a destructive device, inciting a riot, felony civil disorder, and others.  Violent opportunists have exploited these demonstrations in various ways. 

Approximately 80 individuals have been charged with offenses relating to arson and explosives.  Approximately 15 individuals have been charged with damaging federal property. In some instances, these individuals are alleged to have set fires to local businesses as well as city and federal property, which will regrettably incur millions of taxpayer dollars to repair damages to the Portland Courthouse, Nashville Courthouse, Minneapolis Police Third Precinct, Seattle Police East Precinct, and local high school in Minnesota; and, to replace police cruisers in South Carolina, Washington, Rhode Island, Georgia, Utah, and other states.

Corporate and local businesses were also targeted, including a Target Corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Boost Mobile Store in Milwaukee, Champ Sports Store in Tampa, and local restaurants including a pizza parlor in Los Angeles and a sushi bar in Santa Monica.  Through these acts, these individuals have shown minimal regard to their communities and for the safety of others and themselves.

In Washington, D.C., outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, a man was engulfed in flames after he poured a liquid from a gas can onto three U.S. Supreme Court Police vehicles; he suffered severe burns. In Virginia Beach, authorities identified a man who is alleged to have threatened to burn down an African American church.  

Approximately 35 individuals have been charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer and related offenses.  One of these cases was charged in Massachusetts; the rest of these individuals were charged in Oregon.  The assaults have targeted local and federal law enforcement officers.  In Portland, a man is alleged to have approached a U.S. Marshals Deputy from behind and struck the deputy in the upper back, neck, and shoulder with a wooden baseball bat; another man, allegedly assaulted a Deputy U.S. Marshal with an explosive device.  In Boston, a man allegedly shot at least 11 times toward officers, including a deputized federal officer.

Approximately 30 individuals have been charged with offenses related to civil disorder.  In several instances, these individuals leveraged social media platforms to incite destruction and assaults against law enforcement officers.  In Cleveland, two Pennsylvania men are charged with driving to the city with the intent to participate in a riot and commit acts of violence.  In their possession, authorities found a black backpack containing a hammer, two containers of Sterno Firestarter Instant Flame Gel, a can of spray paint, a glass bottle of liquor with a bar-style pour top, a Glock semi-automatic firearm and two magazines loaded with ammunition.  In Knoxville, one individual allegedly instructed his social media followers to, “bring hammers bricks whatever you want.” The same defendant allegedly used a trashcan lid filled with an unknown liquid to strike a law enforcement officer in the head while the officer was seated in a police vehicle.

Charges have also been filed against individuals accused of committing burglary and carjacking.  In Pittsburgh, two individuals allegedly attempted to burglarize a Dollar Bank.  In Louisville, two individuals were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances at a local Walgreens. Another Louisville individual was charged with carjacking; at the time of the carjacking, the individual was on a felony diversion as a result of a February 2020 conviction for charges that were initially filed as complicity to murder and complicity to robbery. 

Several of these charges carry significant maximum prison sentences. For example, felony assault of a federal officer with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Arson is punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

The following agencies and U.S. Attorney’s offices have investigated these cases along with multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies: The FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and United States Attorneys’ Offices (including the District of Arizona, the Central District of California, the Northern District of California, the Southern District of California, the District of Colorado, the District of Columbia, the District of Delaware, the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of Georgia, the Central District of Illinois, the Northern District of Illinois, the Southern District of Indiana, the Western District of Kentucky, the Middle District of Louisiana, the District of Maine, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Minnesota, the Eastern District of Missouri, the Western District of Missouri, the District of Nevada, the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of New York, the Northern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the Western District of New York, the Eastern District of North Carolina, the District of North Dakota, the Northern District of Ohio, the Southern District of Ohio, the District of Oregon, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Western District of Pennsylvania, the District of Rhode Island, the District of South Carolina, the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Middle District of Tennessee, the Northern District of Texas, the Western District of Texas, the District of Utah, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Western District of Washington, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Western District of Wisconsin).

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest.  Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov, or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.

In addition to those who commit fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind.  Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at FBI.gov/violence.

An indictment and criminal complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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    Earlier today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the results of Operation Legend, which was first launched in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 8, 2020, and then expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 14, 2020.
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  • Request for Statements of Interest: DRL FY20 Iraq Programs
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Bureau of Democracy, [Read More…]
  • Designation of Former Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka of the Slovak Republic for Involvement in Significant Corruption
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Briefing With State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott W. Busby
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Scott Busby, Deputy [Read More…]
  • Priority Open Recommendations: U.S. Agency for International Development
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In April 2020, GAO identified three priority recommendations for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since then, USAID has implemented all three of those recommendations by taking actions to improve management and oversight of international food assistance projects, project performance data collection, and reform efforts. In May 2021, GAO identified three additional priority recommendations for USAID, bringing the total number to three. These recommendations involve the following areas: Complying with Equal Employment Opportunity requirements Improving financial information USAID's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations. Why GAO Did This Study Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations. For more information, contact Thomas Melito at (202) 512-9601 or melitot@gao.gov.
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  • Pakistan Independence Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • North Carolina Nail Salon Owner Convicted of Forced Labor
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that after a five-day trial, a federal jury in Charlotte, North Carolina, found Thuy Tien Luong, 37, of Charlotte, North Carolina, guilty of forced labor after finding that Luong compelled the labor of one of her nail technicians at a nail salon she owned and operated in Davidson, North Carolina. 
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  • Secretary Michael R. Pompeo and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Interagency Council on Homelessness: Governance Responsibilities Need Further Clarification
    In U.S GAO News
    The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) consists of representatives from 19 federal agencies—including a Chair and Vice-Chair—on its governing Council and a full-time staff led by an Executive Director. The Executive Director has led most day-to-day operations, including hiring and managing staff, preparing budget requests, working with private-sector groups, drafting strategic plans, developing performance goals, and drafting agendas for the Council's quarterly meetings. Council members have quarterly meetings to discuss and consider homelessness issues and review the efforts of the Executive Director and USICH staff. Actions taken at Council meetings held from December 2017 through March 2020 included electing the Chair and Vice-Chair, appointing the Executive Director, and approving the USICH strategic plan and activities of interagency working groups. USICH staff also informed the Council of their performance results during the quarterly meetings. Some roles and responsibilities for the governance of USICH, such as the types of matters that require Council approval, are not fully defined or documented. Recent Council Chairs told GAO they generally did not have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and generally based them on their predecessors' activities. For example, the 2019 Chair stated he saw his responsibilities as preparing and chairing quarterly Council meetings and acting as the Council's external spokesperson, but there were no written procedures detailing these responsibilities. The 2019 Chair also stated that he had no involvement in overseeing the USICH budget or operations, staff, and interagency working groups. Standards of Internal Control for the Federal Government state that for an entity's objectives to be achieved the responsibilities and delegations of authority should be clearly established. At its quarterly meeting held in March 2020, the Council approved a charter that addresses voting mechanics, performance evaluations for the Executive Director, and the authority of the Executive Director to oversee personnel. But the charter does not fully clarify the Council's responsibilities in other areas, such as the responsibilities of the Council Chair, types of matters that would require approval by Council vote, and actions that are within the Executive Director's delegated authority. Additional clarity and documentation in these areas may assist the Council in securing a fuller understanding of its oversight role and responsibilities. The mission of USICH is to coordinate the federal response to homelessness and create partnerships with the private sector and state and local governments to reduce and end homelessness. The joint explanatory statement related to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 includes a provision for GAO to review the management and governance structure of USICH, including the Council's ability to oversee the Executive Director and USICH operations. This report (1) describes the structure and practices for USICH operations and (2) evaluates the extent to which roles and responsibilities for the governance of USICH have been defined and documented. GAO focused primarily on the 2017–2020 time frame and analyzed agency documentation (such as Council meeting transcripts, and USICH's strategic plan and performance reports) and interviewed Council members, current and former Executive Directors, and staff from member agencies. GAO is recommending that the Council further clarify and document its roles and responsibilities for matters requiring the Council's approval, the role of the Council Chair, and actions within the Executive Director's delegated authority. The Council concurred with the recommendation. For more information, contact Alicia Puente Cackley, (202) 512-8678, cackleya@gao.gov.
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  • Burmese Military Arrests of Civilian Government Leaders
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime for Making Racially-Charged Motivated Threats Toward Black Neighbor and to Unlawful Possession of Firearms
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that Shepherd Hoehn, 51, pleaded guilty in federal court to making threats to intimidate and interfere with his neighbor, who is Black, because of the neighbor’s race and because the neighbor was exercising his right to fair housing, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3631. Hoehn also pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).
    [Read More…]
  • South African Freedom Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Former Resident of Stockton, California Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Human Trafficking Convictions Related to Forced Labor of Foreign Nationals
    In Crime News
    Sharmistha Barai, 40, formerly of Stockton, California, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 2 to 15 years and eight months in prison for forced labor violations.
    [Read More…]
  • Kenya Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel [Read More…]
  • Designation of Republic of Guatemala Congressperson Boris España Cáceres Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]