SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – A federal grand jury in San Antonio has indicted a self-proclaimed member of the anti-government extremist group Boogaloo Bois on a charge of illegally possessing a firearm.
Twenty-one-year-old Cameron Emerson Casey Rankin was arrested October 28 by the FBI at his residence after agents reportedly recovered a black semi-automatic rifle. Investigators say Rankin is not allowed to carry a weapon because he was previously committed to a mental institution.
“Firearms in the hands of prohibited persons present a real danger to the law abiding residents of our community. When illegal firearms possession is combined with mental illness and violent, extremist
ideologies, we have a prescription for disaster,” stated U.S. Attorney Gregg Sofer after Rankin was indicted Wednesday.
According to court records, Rankin has expressed a desire to overthrow the government, specifically, the “three letter agencies” such as ATF, FBI and IRS. The Boogaloo Bois, or Boogaloo Boys, carry weapons and typically wear Hawaiian shirts under their tactical gear, and some are looking to start a second civil war. Because of their anti-police beliefs, members of the boogaloo movement showed up at protests over the death of George Floyd.
“Today’s indictment sends a message to those who would seek to bring violent chaos and mayhem to our communities, regardless of the ideology that motivates them,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs. “The FBI and our partners are committed to protecting the public from all violent criminals, including those who are affiliated with anti-government groups.”
Rankin tried to buy two long guns from a San Antonio retail outlet in 2018, but was denied the firearms transactions under the “Prohibited Category” for previously being judicially committed to a mental institution.
Court records also allege that after being warned by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that he was a prohibited person, Rankin posted pictures of himself with a firearm on social media.
On May 30, Rankin and others wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying long guns and pistols, attended a George Floyd protest at the Alamo. The next day, Rankin posted on his Facebook account photos of himself and others carrying firearms at the protest as well as comments about his disdain for police including, “…hope they burn the precinct down” and “I’m BOOGALOO we hate police.”
According to court records, Rankin posted a selfie on his Facebook timeline in August which showed him holding a black, semi-automatic rifle in vertical position against his shoulder with his finger on the trigger. Rankin posted other photos which included a quote, stating, “Diligently Plotting to Take Over the World in order to Leave You Alone.”
On August 11, ATF agents served Rankin written notice at the Manchester, NH airport that he was prohibited from possessing firearms. The agents also provided him with copies of his mental health records. That same day, agents says they seized a handgun and ammunition from inside Rankin’s luggage.
If convicted, Rankin faces up to ten years in federal prison.
His case falls within the purview of the Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Violent Anti-Government Extremism. This case also is a part of Project Guardian, which is the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.