San Francisco judge throws out guilty pleas from 3 ‘Grizzly Scouts’ members linked to Steven Carrillo, the man who killed Pat Underwood


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A federal court judge in San Francisco on Tuesday threw out the guilty pleas of three members of an anti-government armed militia who planned to target law enforcement with Steven Carrillo.

All parties in this case were stunned by what happened in court and none of the attorneys would comment – defense or prosecution.

Jessie Rush of Turlock, a 30-year-old army veteran, started the Grizzly Scouts in April 2020, and court documents show he quickly attracted at least 15 members to this offshoot of the Boogaloo movement, whose members believe in civil war or uprising. against the government arrives.

“A militia by itself is not necessarily illegal. That’s what the militia does and that’s how it acts,” said Glenn Norling, who worked exclusively on domestic terrorism cases for six years at the FBI. of Sacramento. He now trains law enforcement on threats from extremist groups.

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Court records show the Grizzly Scouts used a Facebook account named “/K/alifornia Kommando” with the description – “they say the west won’t boog”…” were (sic) here to round up like-minded Californians the same ideas that can network and establish squads of local goons.”

Dan Noies: “What is it about the Boogaloo movement that wants them to target the police?”
Glenn Norling: “Yeah. And that’s sort of one of the tenets, it’s, it’s anti-government, it’s anti-law enforcement. ‘We law enforcement , let’s try to take away their rights and privileges and things like that.’ So law enforcement is just that representative face, that local face of government.”

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One of the Grizzly Scouts? Steven Carrillo, an active duty military police officer at Travis Air Force Base, was planning to attack officers during this George Floyd protest in Oakland in May 2020 and discussed it with the group. Court documents show Simon Ybarra, a 24-year-old construction worker, met Carrillo in his white van behind a Los Gatos gas station and helped him assemble an automatic rifle. Two days later, Carrillo fired from that van at the Oakland federal building, killing security guard Pat Underwood.

Even after this first murder, the Grizzly Scouts did not report Carrillo. They continued to discuss and plan future attacks.

Dan Noies: “No one raised a red flag, called law enforcement and said, ‘Look, this has gone too far. We actually killed a law enforcement officer. They didn’t do that.”
Glenn Norling: “No, no, not at all. That was it, that was a promotion of their cause. That’s, you know, what’s not forbidden. That’s the start, that’s the start of the boog. That’s why we’ve been training. That’s what we’ve been training for. This is, this is serious.”

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In fact, 22-year-old Kenny Miksch of San Lorenzo messaged the group just an hour after the Oakland shooting: “And it’s starting.” And the following week, when Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies tracked Carrillo to his home in Ben Lomond, court records show the Grizzly Scouts were supporting him via WhatsApp, listening to police radios, urging him to evade law enforcement.

During an ambush, Carrillo killed Sheriff Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, and after his arrest, prosecutors say Rush, Ybarra and Miksch destroyed Grizzly Scouts records and communications with Carrillo. This is the crime for which they are now being prosecuted. The lawyers had worked out guilty pleas and 10 to 12 month sentences, but Judge James Donato dismissed the case saying: “They were devoted exclusively and deliberately to a scheme to target and kill agents of the law enforcement,” adding, “I haven’t seen a case that is more of a threat to public safety.”

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None of the defendants or their attorneys would comment on the case Tuesday, except for Grizzly Scouts leader Jessie Rush.

Dan Noies: “Do you have any regrets regarding the death of Pat Underwood or Damon Gutwiller?

Jessy Rush: “I do.”
Dan Noies: “What is that?”
Jessy Rush: “It’s certain.”
Dan Noies: “Do you have any regrets? Want to tell me about it?
Jessy Rush: “We’ll talk later, man.

RELATED: Air Force Sergeant Arrested on Suspects of Killing Deputy in Santa Cruz County.

That case is now due to go to trial in June. Another of the Grizzly Scouts has his sentencing in April. Along with charges of conspiracy and obstruction, investigators say they found child pornography on his computer — which he tricked a 15-year-old girl into making and sending dozens of photos and videos.

Check out more stories from Dan Noyes and the ABC7 News I-Team.

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