LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The three men accused of trying to incite violence during Las Vegas protests all have U.S. military backgrounds. 13 Investigates the details about those who signed up to protect our country, only to allegedly terrorize it.
Federal court records say the men are associated with an anti-government movement using the term "boogaloo", which is "used by extremists to signify a coming civil war."
Law enforcement had been tracking the men since April, and records suggest a serious violent event was foiled.
Here's what we currently know:
Andrew Lynam, 23, is currently an Army reservist. Stephen Parshall served in the Navy, and William Loomis was in the Air Force.
Screenshots from a since taken down Facebook page for a Stephen Parshall, show extreme alt-right images like a swastika and the Kekistan flag - from a fictional nation devised by white nationalists.
The Anti-Defamation League is tracking what they see as a rise in extremism.
"I think, unfortunately, our concerns are confirmed that the extremist movement is gaining momentum during this time of division with our country," says Jolie Brislin, regional director with the ADL.
Parshall's distaste for the military he'd enlisted in is clear, posting, "Don't join the Navy! It's more drama and bs then [sic] I have ever seen in my life." He also says he's "tired of kids who join right after high school, writing, "They have no idea how to behave in the real world."
A confidential FBI source met Parshall and the younger Lynam in April at the 'Reopen' rally held at the Grant Sawyer Building. Lynam said their boogaloo group was "not for joking around" and "it was for people who wanted to violently overthrow the US government."
Records show the men talked of firebombing a U.S. Forest Service fee station near Lake Mead and a NV Energy substation in east Las Vegas.
They allegedly spoke of using fireworks and smoke bombs during the protests to create panic and instigate "some type of confrontation between the police and protesters."
"We've definitely seen this group be emboldened by the COVID-19 lockdowns and then from the protests," Brislin said. "And it's definitely giving them momentum to bring their agenda to a larger audience and kind of go from the online world that we've seen them in and taking it now to the real world, interacting with individuals."
Records claim Lynam taunted police at a protest last Friday. By Saturday night, they were downtown near the Downtown Container Park, ripping up rags to make Molotov cocktails when the FBI swooped in.
The three men are facing both state and federal charges. Their next court date is June 15.