CALIFORNIA — The USAF veteran accused of killing two law enforcement officers in California last year belonged to a militia group that was plotting a “war” against police. Part of the exotic plan included taking officers captive, stripping them naked and leaving them “blindfolded with [their] hands bound” in the wilderness, according to court documents.
Steven Carrillo, who was a sergeant in the Air Force, has pleaded not guilty to the May 29, 2020 fatal shooting of Federal Protective Service Officer Dave Patrick Underwood in Oakland, and the June 6, 2020 murder of Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller in an ambush attack in the community of Ben Lomond, Fox News reported.
Underwood was gunned down at the Ronald V Dellums Federal Building when a vehicle approached the facility and opened fire at security officers. A week later, Gutzwiller was killed by gunfire and “improvised explosive devices,” Law Officer reported.
According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, citing court documents, the claims surrounding the alleged inner workings of the Grizzly Scouts emerged this week. The broader scope shows the alleged gunman, Carrillo, was not acting solo, but as a member of an anti-government group that was preparing for more deadly attacks on law enforcement, Fox reported.
The filings cited by the Sentinel allege that, in a document entitled “Operations Order,” the right-wing militia described law enforcement officers as “enemy forces” and spoke of the possibility of taking some prisoner, writing: “POWs will be searched for intel and gear, interrogated, stripped naked, blindfolded, driven away and released into the wilderness blindfolded with hands bound.”
Carrillo, whose wife had committed suicide two years previously, seemed to become radicalized as the pandemic surged and nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death and other police violence ensued, according to an unnamed person who engaged in social media posts with him, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.
The group also allegedly discussed ways to create violence between Antifa activists and law enforcement officers.
In April, a federal grand jury had indicted Jessie Alexander Rush, 29, of Turlock; Robert Jesus Blancas, 33, of Castro Valley; Simon Sage Ybarra, 23, of Los Gatos; and Kenny Matthew Miksch, 21, of San Lorenzo, on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Blancas, the only defendant who remains in jail, also faces a child enticement charge related to alleged sexual conversations with a teen girl that were discovered during the investigation.
The court filings reportedly confirm that Carrillo is one of the militia’s roughly 25 members as well as the creation of a “Quick Reaction Force” or QRF.
Blancas allegedly wrote that he was “totally down” to disguise himself as an Antifa member and spark a violent conflict.
“It’s the tactically sound option,” Blancas told other militia members, according to prosecutors.
Most members of the Grizzly Scouts are still at large, federal prosecutors said. It is unclear how many of the 25 members have actually been named in a federal conspiracy other than those mentioned.
The group identifies with a loosely affiliated, nationwide militia movement that uses the name “Boogaloo” and favors Hawaiian shirts and violent rhetoric, but the Scouts’ activities appear to be more carefully plotted, the news organization reported.
According to the indictment, prior to Carillo’s arrest, he scrawled Boogaloo sayings on a car with his own blood. Once he was finally captured, investigators found a tactical vest in his possession that had a Boogaloo patch, the Sentinel reported.
Carrillo remains in custody at the Alameda County Jail.