According to a statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office Northern District of California on Wednesday, Ian Benjamin Rogers was arrested on January 15 in Napa County, while five pipe bombs and at least 49 guns were discovered during a search of his home and business on the same day, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Napa Special Investigations Bureau took part in the operation.
The officers and agents also identified other materials at the scene that could be used to manufacture destructive devices, including black powder, pipes, caps and manuals.
A special sticker was also found on the suspect’s vehicle window, and the sticker was commonly used by so-called “Three-Percenters” members, who adhere to extreme anti-government, pro-gun beliefs.
The NBC Bay Area news channel also reported that Rogers used to display a decal on his website proclaiming his membership in the far-right group.
A “White Privilege Card” for Rogers was also found by authorities.
A 17-page criminal complaint filed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday contained a photo of the card, on which “Trumps Everything” was printed.
In all, officers seized 49 firearms from his home and business, and approximately two dozen ammunition boxes containing thousands of rounds of ammunition, the affidavit read.
FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor, who signed the affidavit, stated in the document that based on her investigation and training, many texts sent out by Rogers and other evidences showed that the suspect believed that former President Donald Trump actually won the presidential election last November and should “go to war” to ensure that he remained in power.
“Rogers intent to engage in acts of violence himself locally if there was not an organised ‘war’ to prevent Joe Biden from assuming the presidency,” Minor said, adding that Rogers wrote in a text that “I want to blow up a Democrat building bad”.
US Attorney David Anderson announced in the statement that the authority had alleged Rogers possessed homemade pipe bombs and the materials to make more, noting that “we draw a bright line between lawlessness and our constitutional freedoms. We will prosecute illegal weapons stockpiles regardless of the motivation of the offender”.
Rogers was charged with unlawful possession of unregistered destructive devices, and if convicted, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.