San Francisco, CA – A federal judge has tossed out the plea agreement prosecutors struck with three members of an anti-government militia group accused of trying to hide evidence connected to the fatal ambush of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood.
“They were dedicated exclusively and deliberately in a scheme to target and kill law enforcement officers,” U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California James Donato said on Feb. 22, according to the Associated Press. “I haven’t seen a case that is more of a threat to public safety.”
Simon Ybarra, 24, Kenny Miksch, 22, and Jessie Rush, 29, have been accused of destroying evidence connected with Protective Services Officer Underwood’s murder, which occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building located on Clay Street at approximately 9:45 p.m. on May 29, 2020, The Mercury News reported.
A vehicle approached the courthouse near the intersection of 12th Street and Jefferson Street and a gunman opened fire on the contract security officers, hitting 53-year-old Officer Underwood and a second officer who were guarding the facility.
The second officer survived the attack.
Prosecutors said the three men conspired with former U.S. Air Force staff sergeant Steven Carrillo, 32, to target law enforcement officers amid the anti-police riots that were taking place at the time, according to the Associated Press.
Carrillo, an outspoken member of the boogaloo movement, has been charged with murder in the death of Protective Services Officer Underwood and the separate fatal ambush of 38-year-old Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.
Sgt. Gutzwiller was gunned down on June 6, 2020, while investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle filled with guns and explosives, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Miksch, Ybarra, and Rush pleaded guilty in September of 2021 on federal charges of conspiring to obstruct justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a press release.
They expected to be sentenced to 10 months to one year in prison, but that expectation disintegrated Tuesday when Donato tossed the plea agreement out, according to the Associated Press.
All three defendants will now proceed to trial in June.
None of their attorneys would comment on Donato’s decision, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors also declined to comment.
Members of the boogaloo movement are anti-government extremists who want to engage in a civil war called the “boogaloo” in which they overthrow the U.S. government.
So-called “Boogaloo Bois” often wish to kill law enforcement officers for perceived acts of tyranny, or for acts which have not actually happened, but exist only in their imagination as part of a dystopian future which they believe the U.S. is headed toward.