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Right-wing militia members plotted on TikTok to go to ‘war with Border Patrol,’ planned to kill immigrants and FBI: Feds

Title 42 rescinding at Tijuana, San Diego U.S.-Mexico border

Immigrants continue to cross the border fence despite the tight air and ground surveillance of Border Patrol elements. (Photo by Carlos Moreno/Sipa USA)

Two right-wing militia members conspired to go “to war with border patrol,” plotting to murder immigrants and federal authorities, a grand jury alleged in an indictment.

The duo — Bryan C. Perry, 37, of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Jonathan S. O’Dell, 33, of Warsaw, Missouri — styled themselves as members of the 2nd American Militia, and their alleged scheme collapsed after they got into a shootout with FBI agents who arrested them on the eve of their planned trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, prosecutors said.

Their most recent indictment alleges a combined total of 44 charges, and a conviction on the top count alone can lead to a sentence of life imprisonment.

Prosecutors say that the men promoted their scheme on TikTok.

In one of those videos, posted on Sept. 12, 2022, Perry claimed that the U.S. Border Patrol had been committing treason by allowing undocumented immigrants to enter into the United States — and said that the penalty for treason was death.

The next day, Perry took to TikTok again to say he was “ready to go to war against this government.”

Later that month, Perry recruited O’Dell, prosecutors say.

The indictment states that their plans heated up that October.

On Oct. 3, 2022, Perry had a phone conversation with an unidentified individual and described a plan to shoot immigrants and “federal agents” who would oppose them, according to the indictment. After he would “take a couple of ’em out,” Perry added that they swipe their gear and supplies, prosecutors said.

Some four days later on Oct. 4, 2022, Perry and O’Dell allegedly acquired a stockpile of weapons: “six firearms, 23 magazines filled with ammunition, 1,770 rounds of various other ammunition, two sets of body armor with corresponding plate carrier vests, a handheld radio, two sniper rests, two gas masks, two items that appeared to be ballistic helmets, and multiple containers of a binary explosive mixture commonly sold as an exploding target,” the Justice Department says.

That was the day the FBI says that it executed a search at O’Dell’s residence in Warsaw, Missouri.

When the FBI arrived, Perry allegedly fired 11 shots of his Voodoo Innovations multi-caliber rifle at agents. Prosecutors said that Perry resisted arrest from three FBI agents and assaulted one of them.

The Justice Department described the scene of the alleged shootout.

“Federal agents approached the property in vehicles with red and blue lights activated,” the DOJ wrote in a press release. “As the FBI approached, an agent utilized a loudspeaker on one of the vehicles, stating that they were with the FBI and that they had a search warrant for the residence. The FBI agent began to repeat the announcement, again stating that they were with the FBI, when gunshots were fired from a front window at the lead FBI vehicle. Several rounds hit the lead FBI vehicle.”

The indictment also charges Perry and O’Dell with seven counts of the attempted murder of FBI agents, seven counts of assaulting FBI agents with a deadly weapon, three counts of assaulting FBI agents, 14 counts of using a firearm in a crime of violence, and one count of damaging federal property.

The duo were initially charged on the date of the arrest: Oct. 7, 2022, but their grand jury has kept active. The latest charges were leveled in the second superseding indictment.

Perry’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."