FBI foils 2022 plot by militiamen to “start a war” at the Texas-Mexico border

FBI foils 2022 plot by militiamen to “start a war” at the Texas-Mexico border

Court documents filed in federal courts reveal that FBI agents intervened in a plot concocted by three individuals, two of whom claimed affiliation with a militia, aimed at traveling to the Texas-Mexico border with intentions to kill Border Patrol agents and immigrants crossing illegally. The rationale behind their actions purportedly stemmed from a belief that the country was facing an invasion. According to the criminal complaint, one of the men, Bryan C. Perry, placed a phone call to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office, alerting them about their plans, emphasizing that they would take matters into their own hands if the border situation wasn’t addressed adequately.

The trio, comprised of Bryan C. Perry, Jonathan S. O’Dell, and Paul Faye, faces various federal charges in connection with their alleged scheme, which authorities claim had been in the works since 2022, with plans to execute it in October 2023. While Perry and O’Dell were arrested in late 2022 and subsequently indicted on multiple charges, Faye’s arrest occurred more recently in Tennessee, on charges related to possession of an unregistered firearm silencer.

According to court documents, Perry had extensive communication with Faye, expressing intentions to travel together to the border and commit acts of violence. Perry and O’Dell are further accused of attempting to kill seven federal agents, with Perry allegedly firing shots at FBI agents during a search warrant execution at O’Dell’s residence.

The FBI’s investigation revealed that Perry and O’Dell harbored grievances against the federal government, with discussions dating back to November 2021. They reportedly attempted to recruit members to their militia group, discussing plans to travel to Washington, D.C., and even sharing maps of governmental buildings. Their focus eventually shifted to the border, with Perry declaring intentions to “start a war” and resort to violence if necessary.

The criminal complaint detailed Perry’s social media activity, including TikTok videos where he announced plans to travel to the border with the intent to shoot immigrants. O’Dell participated in these discussions, indicating their scheduled departure for October 2, 2022. Perry’s sentiments towards U.S. Border Patrol agents were expressed in various online platforms, where he blamed them for allowing migrants to cross the border.

While the exact location on the Texas-Mexico border targeted by the group remains unspecified, the criminal complaint against Faye mentioned his communication with individuals from North Carolina associated with a militia group called NC Patriot Party, indicating plans to travel to Eagle Pass.

Despite multiple attempts to reach out to lawyers representing the accused individuals for comment, there was no response. Perry and O’Dell have entered pleas of not guilty.

Governor Greg Abbott’s office did not provide immediate comment on the matter. However, Abbott has been vocal about border security concerns, repeatedly referring to the influx of migrants as an “invasion.” This rhetoric has drawn criticism, with immigrant rights advocates and Democratic lawmakers cautioning against language that could incite violence.

The incident underscores the heightened tensions surrounding immigration policies, with previous instances of violence linked to similar sentiments. Criticism has been directed towards officials who employ inflammatory language, with concerns raised about its potential to inspire acts of violence, similar to the tragic events in El Paso in August 2019.