Anti-immigrant rhetoric seems to be increasing nationwide. While more people with this mentality are being arrested, it’s scary to think of how many are plotting hate crimes and getting away with them. The FBI arrested two men this week after they not only threatened to kill immigrants but to “go to war” against the American government. The men, who were identified as 37-year-old Bryan C. Perry and 32-year-old Jonathan S. O’Dell, were charged Friday.
According to CBS News affiliate KCTV5, each man faces separate criminal complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Federal prosecutors charged Perry with one count of transmitting a threat across state lines to injure another person, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of forcibly assaulting an FBI agent with a deadly weapon. O’Dell was charged with one count of transmitting a threat across state lines to injure another person and one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm.
The arrests follow an anonymous tip sent to the FBI National Threats Operation Center in September about threats made on the TikTok account @trashpanda1774, the FBI said in a statement to Clarksville Now.
“I am probably the only one right now that is ready to go to war against this government,” the user said in one video. Investigations into the TikTok account found the posts on the account were made by Perry. In another video on the account, Perry made references to taking the country back, saying, “when we do, we will eradicate every m----------- that is part of a communist mindset. You can take that to the f------ bank. No mercy. No surrender.”
According to KCTV5, documents indicate that Perry was staying at O’Dell’s residence in Missouri. A video posted on or about Sept. 25, 2022 to the TikTok account @mobornfromthe90s depicts the two men expressing a desire to secure the southern border, using methods that included taking lives if necessary, the FBI said. The video came three days after a video posted to the first account claiming their “little group is moving out as soon as possible,” with the intent of “shoot(ing) to kill.” Other videos expressed the pair’s intent to go “hunting.”
In addition to posting about shooting undocumented folks, the pair expressed a desire to go to war with the government.
“I am probably the only one right now that is ready to go to war against this government, and I don’t mean just talk about it, I mean grab my rifle and go to D.C. and take this country back physically, not sit in a basement and talk about it,” Perry said in a post.
After receiving the tip, the FBI conducted surveillance on the social media accounts.
In reference to their findings, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said: “The investigation produced information that led authorities to believe at least two individuals in Benton County were planning to head to South Texas on Saturday, October 8th with a plot to kill illegal immigrants and border patrol agents as well as future plans to attack Washington DC.”
The FBI executed a search warrant Friday, Oct. 7 at O’Dell’s residence, where the pair met up to go to Texas. Both men were taken into custody.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Clark and Trial Attorney Jacob Warren from the counterterrorism section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Clarksville Now reported.
The news of Perry and O’Dell’s plan to kill migrants at the southern border comes at a time when several cases of violence against migrants in that area have come to light. In a recent incident, two brothers were arrested for the shooting of two migrants. One of the perpetrators was a former immigration jail warden. The shots were fired while a group of 13 immigrants were drinking water out of a reservoir. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Texas Tribune, the brothers yelled using racist language prior to the shooting.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric is at an all-time high with hate crimes and violence against people of color increasing nationwide. We need better leaders instated to ensure America’s history of xenophobia comes to an end. Hate cannot and should not be tolerated. Republicans and the right wing have for too long scapegoated and blamed immigrants for issues in efforts to press their anti-immigrant agenda. This must change.
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