MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man is the second member a far-right extremist group to plead guilty to federal terrorism charges in the wake an investigation that began during the days of unrest following George Floyd’s death.
Michael Solomon, 31, of New Brighton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to provide material support and weapons to a terrorist group, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Solomon faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing date has yet to be announced.READ MORE: Univesrity Of Wisconsin Regents Set To Extend SAT, ACT Exemptions
Authorities say that the FBI initiated an investigation into Solomon and 22-year-old Benjamin Ryan Teeter, of North Carolina, after they appeared at the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis carrying guns and discussing violence against police and other public officials.
Both Solomon and Teeter are members of the Boogaloo Bois, an anti-government extremist group. Some members of the group, which started as an online meme, use the term Boogaloo in reference for a second civil war, which they hope to help start. Members of the group frequently show up at protests carrying rifles and wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Investigators say that Solomon and Teeter were in Minneapolis last May as unrest gripped the city. Not long after, the two men met with an informant whom they believed to be a member of Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic party that the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization.READ MORE: UW Regents To Consider Out-Of-State, Grad Tuition Increase
During the meeting, Solomon and Teeter proposed helping the military wing of Hamas as a means of supplying funds for the Boogaloo Bois, investigators say. Later, in a meeting with an undercover FBI agent whom they thought was a higher-ranking member of Hamas, the two proposed manufacturing suppressors, untraceable firearms, and fully automatic firearms for Hamas.
According to federal authorities, Solomon admitted that he and Teeter bought a drill press and used it to make five suppressors in his home. The two delivered the suppressors to the undercover agent, believing that the weapons would be used against the U.S. Army and Israel.
During this delivery, the two also gave the undercover agent a 3D-printed “auto sear,” which they thought could be used by Hamas to turn semi-automatic rifles into fully-automatic rifles. The men agreed to obtain, and did obtain, more auto sears for Hamas, investigators say.MORE NEWS: 2 Killed, 3 Injured In Crash Involving Stolen Vehicle, Police Say
Teeter, of Hampstead, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to provide material support for Hamas. He has yet to be sentenced.