LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A federal investigation focusing on planned violence at Black Lives Matter protests led to three arrests. The I-Team had an exclusive interview with the US Attorney for the District of Nevada about the case.
According to investigators, three white men were heading to Downtown Las Vegas Saturday night for a Black Lives Matter protest with the plan to throw Molotov cocktails at police when they released tear gas.
“Violent instigators have hijacked peaceful protests throughout the country,” said Nicholas Trutanich, US Attorney for the District of Nevada. Trutanich’s office filed a criminal complaint Wednesday.
Prosecutors said they were not headed to the protest for the cause, but rather for their connections to the Boogaloo Movement. This movement is described by the Anti-Defamation League as extremists to signify a coming civil war or fall of civilization.
Trutanich called them violent militia members.
According to the complaint, the men attended Reopen Nevada rallies, where their goal was to violently overthrow the US government.
They also have ties to the military:
- Andrew Lyman: Currently enlisted in the Army Reserves
- Stephen Parshall: Formerly enlisted in the Navy
- William Loomis: Former Air Force
Last Friday, one day before their arrest, they also attended a Black Lives Matter protest on the Las Vegas Strip. Investigators said they taunted police by getting in their faces while yelling.
The I-Team asked Trutanich if people are safe or if there are other actors like these men, to which he responded:
“People should feel safe that law enforcement are doing their very best, their level best to ensure that people not only have the right to express themselves freely but do so in a safe manner. Of course, we’ve seen over the last few days that often, it’s been hijacked by individuals with their own, sometimes radical, agendas.”
All three men are at the Clark County Detention Center with a $1 million bond.