SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Ian Benjamin Rogers pleaded guilty Friday to being involved in a conspiracy to bomb the Democratic Party Headquarters in Sacramento.
The DOJ said Rogers also pleaded guilty to weapons violations, including one count of possession of unregistered destructive devices and a count of possessing an illegal machine gun.
Rogers, a 46-year-old from Napa, was one of two men involved in the plot. Jarrod Copeland, a 38-year-old, had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy and the destruction of records.
According to court documents, Rogers was arrested in January of 2021 following a search of his home and business. Copeland, a Vallejo resident, was arrested in Sacramento in July.
“Rogers and Copeland began to plan an attack against a target or targets they associated with Democrats,” court documents read. “By November 29, 2020, they had identified the John L. Burton Democratic Headquarters in Sacramento, California as their first target … .”
In their plea agreement, Rogers and Copeland said they started planning the attack in November 2020 after the presidential election.
“Rogers and Copeland were motivated by disappointment in the outcome of the last federal election,” said FBI assistant special agent Jon Blair.
Both men admitted that they talked about “throwing gas cans through the front windows of the building and igniting the gasoline to burn down the building,” the DOJ said.
The two men allegedly thought their attacks would start a “movement.” Officials said that messages show Copeland had told Rogers he tried to get support from an “anti-government militia.” He had also informed Rogers he “obtained material” that would help them with the plan.
Days before Rogers was arrested, court documents say he messaged Copeland and told him, “I want to blow up a democrat building bad.” Copeland allegedly agreed and said “plan attack.”
On Jan. 15 2021, four days after the messages were exchanged, law enforcement searched Rogers’ home and seized between “45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully-automatic weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and five pipe bombs.” He was arrested that same day.
According to an affidavit submitted by an FBI agent, officers also found a sticker related to the “Three-Percenters” on Rogers’ vehicle.
Learning of the arrest, Copeland got in touch with a militia group, to which he and Rogers were members, and was advised to “delete everything he had.”
Copeland was later arrested in Sacramento on July 14, 2021. Both men have been in custody since their arrest.
Rogers will be sentenced on Sept. 30. Meanwhile, Copeland’s sentencing has yet to be scheduled.