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Militia members wanted to ‘start a war’ at the border, murder migrants and Border Patrol agents: Prosecutors

Militia members wanted to ‘start a war’ at the border, murder migrants and Border Patrol agents: Prosecutors

Two militia members who are accused of planning to shoot at Border Patrol agents and illegal immigrants in an effort to “start a war” at the southern border have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Bryan Perry of Clarksville, Tennessee and Jonathan O’Dell of Warsaw, Missouri, have been charged in a 44-count indictment which alleges that the men planned to travel to Texas to shoot at illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. 

According to the indictment, returned on May 30, the pair planned to murder any Border Patrol agents who attempted to stop them. The indictment charges them with seven counts of attempted murder of FBI agents and assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of assaulting FBI agents and 14 counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

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A Border Patrol agent walks between a gap along the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in Yuma, Arizona on June 1, 2022. The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability is asking to speak to the head of that Border Patrol sector. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

The plot allegedly began in 2022, when the two men attempted to recruit other men to join their self-styled 2nd Amendment militia and launched a recruitment event to do so, before using O’Dell’s residence as a staging ground — collecting firearms, ammunition and other supplies.

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Perry posted a number of videos online on TikTok, saying that Border Patrol was committing treason by allowing illegal immigrants into the U.S. and that the pair were “ready to go to war against this government.” He also said they “were going out huntin’” and were leaving for the border in October. He also that “we’re out to shoot to kill” and “our group is gonna go protect this country.”

By that time, prosecutors say the men had six guns, 23 magazines filled with ammo, body armor, sniper rests, explosive mixtures and other supplies. Perry also had a conversation over the phone in which he said they were doing to “start a war,” shoot people coming across the border and any “federal agents” who opposed them.

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When the FBI moved to take them into custody, agents were shot at and several rounds hit the main vehicle. Prosecutors say that Perry fired 11 rounds from his rifle. Agents did not return fire and later secured their arrest.

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The two men are in federal custody without bond after they had separate detention hearings. A court found they pose a danger to the community.

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Border Patrol agents have been dealing with a migrant crisis now in its third year. On Friday, the agency announced that Jason Owens, the sector chief in Del Rio Sector, would be replacing outgoing Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

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Published: 2023-06-10 14:40:20

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