Guilty plea in plot to firebomb California Democratic HQ

  • FILE - The John L. Burton California Democratic Party Headquarters is seen in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, July 16, 2021. In a plea agreement announced Friday, May 27, 2022, Ian Benjamin Rogers, of Napa, accused of plotting to blow up the Burton building, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to destroy a building with fire or explosives, possessing an unregistered explosive device and possession of a machine gun. Under the agreement Rogers Could face seven-to-nine years in prison.

    FILE - The John L. Burton California Democratic Party Headquarters is seen in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, July 16, 2021. In a plea agreement announced Friday, May 27, 2022, Ian Benjamin Rogers, of Napa, accused of plotting to blow up the Burton building, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to destroy a building with fire or explosives, possessing an unregistered explosive device and possession of a machine gun. Under the agreement Rogers Could face seven-to-nine years in prison. Associated Press

  • FILE - This image provided by the Napa County, Calif., Sheriff's Office, shows Ian Benjamin Rogers, one of two California men who have been charged with plotting to blow up the California Democratic Party's headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. On Friday, May 27, 2022, Rogers pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to destroy a building with fire or explosives, possessing an unregistered explosive device and possession of a machine gun. Under the agreement Rogers could face seven-to-nine years in prison. (Napa County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

    FILE - This image provided by the Napa County, Calif., Sheriff's Office, shows Ian Benjamin Rogers, one of two California men who have been charged with plotting to blow up the California Democratic Party's headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. On Friday, May 27, 2022, Rogers pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to destroy a building with fire or explosives, possessing an unregistered explosive device and possession of a machine gun. Under the agreement Rogers could face seven-to-nine years in prison. (Napa County Sheriff's Office via AP, File) Associated Press

  • Five improvised explosive devices that federal agents said they seized from the Napa home of Ian Benjamin Rogers are seen on Jan. 15, 2021, photo accompanying an indictment against Rogers and Jarrod Copeland of Vallejo, Calif. The men were charged with plotting to blow up the Democratic Party's headquarters in Sacramento, a bombing they hoped would be the first in a series of politically-motivated attacks, federal prosecutors said Thursday, May 26, 2022. (U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of California via AP)

    Five improvised explosive devices that federal agents said they seized from the Napa home of Ian Benjamin Rogers are seen on Jan. 15, 2021, photo accompanying an indictment against Rogers and Jarrod Copeland of Vallejo, Calif. The men were charged with plotting to blow up the Democratic Party's headquarters in Sacramento, a bombing they hoped would be the first in a series of politically-motivated attacks, federal prosecutors said Thursday, May 26, 2022. (U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of California via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/28/2022 6:43 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A California man pleaded guilty Friday to plotting to blow up the state Democratic Party's headquarters in what prosecutors said was the first in a planned series of politically-motivated attacks after the defeat of former President Donald Trump.

Ian Benjamin Rogers, 46, of Napa, pleaded guilty to conspiring to destroy a building by fire or explosives, possessing an explosive device and possessing a machine gun under a plea agreement that could bring him seven to nine years in federal prison.

 

U.S. prosecutors in San Francisco charged Rogers and Jarrod Copeland with conspiring to attack targets they associated with Democrats after Trump's defeat in the November 2020 presidential election.

The pair 'hoped their attacks would prompt a movement,' prosecutors said when they announced the charges in July.

Copeland, 38, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and destruction of records.

'I want to blow up a democrat building bad,' Rogers wrote in one of the messaging apps he used to communicate with Copeland, according to the indictment. In a different message he said that after Democratic President Joe Biden was inaugurated, 'we go to war.'

Their first planned target was the John L. Burton Democratic Headquarters in Sacramento, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement officers who searched Rogers's home in January 2021 seized nearly 50 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and five pipe bombs, prosecutors said.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

He was taken into custody then on state charges after the FBI said he sent text messages that agents perceived as threats against the unoccupied Governor's Mansion and social media companies Facebook and Twitter.

Under a universal agreement, the federal sentence will be served concurrently with a 10- to 12-year state sentence on similar Napa County charges of possessing fully automatic weapons and explosive devices, said Rogers' attorney, Colin Cooper.

Rogers 'has never been in trouble before,' Cooper said.

'He's accepted responsibility and he is desirous of paying his debt to society and resuming a life of productivity, of being a good father and good husband and a good family man' with an 11-year-old son, Cooper said. 'He feels awful about what happened and what he's done to his family, and he's a guy I think we'll never see again in the (criminal justice) system.'

Rogers remains in custody awaiting his sentencing, set for Sept. 30.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.