A second member of the antigovernment Boogaloo Bois extremist group pleaded guilty to Minnesota terrorism charges Tuesday, telling a judge that the group sought to leverage unrest after George Floyd's police killing to raise money for its movement.
Michael Robert Solomon, 31, of New Brighton, admitted Tuesday to selling silencers and other firearm components last year to people be believed were members of the Hamas terror group but who turned out to be FBI informants.
"Honestly, the money was if nothing else more just to keep prepping, to purchase more firearms, more ammunition, more body armor just to prepare for what … we always called the '[expletive] hitting the fan,' " Solomon told U.S. District Judge Michael Davis in court.
Solomon entered his plea in person in a St. Paul federal courtroom Tuesday. He is one of four men charged since last September to have been identified as members of the Boogaloo Bois, an armed anti-government group that rose in prominence amid the 2020 protests over COVID-19 shutdowns and police brutality.
Solomon's guilty plea comes with the possibility of a 20-year sentence. It follows a December plea from co-defendant Benjamin Ryan Teeter, a 22-year-old who traveled from North Carolina in response to a Facebook post from Solomon calling for fellow Boogaloo Bois members to join him in participating in the protests after Floyd's death.
Solomon said Tuesday that he was aware of five Boogaloo Bois members who traveled to Minneapolis after his Facebook post to provide armed security for Black Lives Matter protesters. He also estimated that about 120 people were part of a Minnesota-related Boogaloo Bois Facebook group last year.
After the riots abated, Solomon said, the group began kicking around ideas to raise money for their cause.
They connected with an FBI informant posing as a member of the Hamas terror group and agreed to supply silencers and devices that convert rifles into fully automatic weapons.
Solomon also told Davis that the group discussed using the funds to buy a training facility in South America.
Solomon and Teeter were also accused of plotting to bomb a courthouse in Minnesota before changing their target to an unspecified courthouse in the Twin Cities before their arrests.
Davis said Tuesday that he was working with federal probation officials to find an extremism expert to interview Solomon as part of the presentence investigation. A sentencing date has not been set.
Davis adopted a similar practice for the nine men convicted of trying to join ISIS in 2016, ordering a series of interviews with a German extremism scholar.
Federal prosecutors in Minnesota continue to build cases against Boogaloo Bois members, with the most recent arrest coming last month. Agents arrested Michael Paul Dahlager, 27, of St. Cloud, on federal weapons charges. Dahlager allegedly told an FBI informant that he was planning a January attack on the Minnesota State Capitol.
Stephen Montemayor • 612-673-1755