3rd Accused In Vegas Protest Attack Plot To Remain Jailed

Two Other Suspects Due In Court Wednesday

Associated Press
June 17, 2020 - 6:54 am
Mugshots of Boogaloo suspects from 6-17-20

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge on Tuesday ordered one of there men with ties to an anti-government movement accused of trying to spark violence during recent Las Vegas protests to remain in federal custody pending his trial.

Sylvia Irvin, a defense attorney for 23-year-old Andrew T. Lynam Jr., argued that her client should be released from jail, contending that the FBI and federal prosecutors relied heavily on a confidential informant to make allegations against Lynan and questioned the informant’s trustworthiness.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe sided with federal prosecutors, arguing that the FBI had audio and video recordings to back up many of the allegations. Koppe said she felt Lynam would be a danger to the community if released. 

According to prosecutors, Lynam and his co-defendants have ties to the right-wing extremist “boogaloo” movement, a loosely organized internet-rooted network of gun enthusiasts expressing support for overthrowing the U.S. government. 

Authorities said Lynam and his two co-defendants hoped to carry out a plan to create civic unrest by capitalizing on protests over businesses closed due to the coronavirus and later, the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.

Lynam, of Henderson, appeared in court Tuesday via a video conference while in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. 

He is charged along with 35-year-old Stephen T. Parshall and 40-year-old William L. Loomis with two federal firearms and explosives charges. 

The three men were arrested May 30 by police and the FBI while allegedly preparing gasoline-and-glass-bottle firebombs on the way to a Las Vegas protest against Floyd’s death.

The three men each also face conspiracy, explosives and terrorism charges in local court. They’re due to make appearances in that court Wednesday morning.

Koppe last week ruled against similar requests from attorneys for Parshall and Loomis to release their clients.

On Tuesday, Irvin didn’t dispute the government’s argument that Lynam was a moderator of a “boogaloo” Facebook group but she said someone who affiliates with the boogaloo movement might be drawn to some elements of the group but not all. 

“The ‘boogaloo’ movement is a large gathering of various kinds of individuals that can go from the extreme militant to the extreme anarchist, to people who like to joke, to people who like to talk, to people who just like to vent their frustrations with excessive government interference,” she said. “This is a wide range of beliefs.”

She said Lynam would describe himself as a libertarian and as someone who sometimes thinks there is “excessive government conduct in our lives.” 

The U.S. government in court documents described boogaloo as “a term used by extremists to signify coming civil war and/or fall of civilization.” 

Lynam’s lawyer’s request for release on bail was accompanied by letters from Lyman’s mother, father, girlfriend, a high school counselor and longtime family friends attesting to Lyman’s good character. An Army combat medic who sought treatment for alcoholism two years ago and has lived sober since in the Las Vegas area, they described him as the oldest of five children who would never hurt anyone, played sports and the violin and served as an altar boy growing up at a church in Henderson.

Mother Arissa Lynam said while other young children were watching cartoons on television, Lyman would “scroll to the history channel and watch WWII documentaries.”