A Michigan man who shared a picture of himself wearing military-type gear affixed with a “Boogaloo” patch before joining the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
Steven Thurlow, 50, appeared to proudly declare his allegiance to the boogaloo movement in a picture posted before Jan. 6.
“Ahhhh, nothing like a new pair of 511’s and fresh set of level IV Sapi’s in the plate carrier to go ‘peacefully protest’ with,” the caption reads. As the complaint against Thurlow explains, a Level IV “SAPI” plate is a “high-level ballistic body armor plate that is rated to withstand a direct hit by a high muzzle velocity armor piercing bullet.”
Thurlow is dressed in camouflage military-style gear and is wearing a gas mask, a weapon appearing to be slung over his shoulder. The photo also shows a prominently-displayed patch with the word “Boogaloo” on it.
Prosectors describe “the ‘Boogaloo'” as “a term referencing a violent uprising or impending civil war. The term is sometimes used by militia extremists and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVE) … The term has particularly resonated with militia extremists, who have adopted it to reference an impending politically-motivated civil war or uprising against the government following perceived incursions on Constitutional rights—including the Second Amendment—or other perceived government overreach.”
Thurlow served more than three years in the Army. Prosecutors noted that he was not wearing this outfit when he stormed the Capitol.
Thurlow acknowledged Monday that he had traveled to Washington, D.C. from Michigan “to protest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College,” which had gone for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. After attending Donald Trump’s so-called “Stop the Steal” rally, Thurlow walked toward the Capitol with hundreds of other Trump supporters.’
“Here we are, right at the Capitol,” he is heard saying as he recorded part of the walk. “Pretty much chaos at this point; people are inside.”
He entered the building shortly before 3:00 p.m., around 45 minutes after the initial breach. He admitted to spending at least 15 minutes inside the building, walking through the halls of the Senate side and entering one of the rooms. He also walked to the second floor of the Capitol building, near the Senate Chambers, the statement of offense says.
Thurlow’s plea agreement includes a cooperation clause requiring him to allow law enforcement agents to review any social media accounts for “statements and postings in and around Jan. 6, 2021” and to conduct an interview prior to sentencing.
The plea deal also says that while Thurlow won’t be charged with any non-violent crimes before the execution of the agreement, but prosecutors reserve the right to charge him if they discover he has committed a “crime of violence” at any time.
Thurlow was also charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. Those charges will be dismissed when Thurlow is sentenced.
At the end of the hearing, Thurlow’s lawyer James Gerometta requested that Friedman change the conditions of his pretrial release to no longer restrict him to the Eastern District of Michigan but instead throughout Michigan state. Prosecutor Sarah Wilson Rocha said the government wouldn’t object.
Friedman set sentencing for August 4.
Read the statement of offense, below.
[Images via FBI court filings.]
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