MINNEAPOLIS — A self-proclaimed member of the Boogaloo Bois pleaded guilty Wednesday, Dec. 16, to federal charges for providing support to the terrorist organization Hamas.
Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, of Hampstead, N.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas. Teeter was charged via a superseding indictment on Nov. 6.
U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said in a statement that Teeter’s “extremist ideologies had moved into the realm of violent action.”
According to court documents, in late May, the FBI initiated an investigation into Teeter and a co-defendant, Michael Robert Solomon, 30, of New Brighton, Minn., who are members of the “Boogaloo Bois,” a group of individuals who support violent anti-government sentiments.
Teeter had traveled to Minnesota from North Carolina, according to federal authorities, to take part in the unrest and widespread rioting and looting that followed the death of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police.
Authorities began investigating the Boogaloo Bois after learning that some members were discussing violence and were armed during the unrest in Minneapolis. Boogaloo supporters, who use the movement’s name as a slang term for a second civil war or collapse of civilization, frequently show up at protests armed with rifles and wearing Hawaiian shirts.
In early June, the FBI received information about Teeter, Solomon and other members of the Boogaloo Bois through a confidential source, who Solomon and Teeter believed to be a member of Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization.
In recorded conversations, the two expressed that Hamas shares anti-U.S. government views that align with their own, court documents said. Teeter and Solomon also desired to be “mercenaries” for Hamas to generate funds for the Boogaloo Bois movement.
Teeter said in his guilty plea that he knew Hamas was a foreign terrorist organization.
On June 14, Teeter met with the confidential source and proposed ways to assist Hamas, including using explosives to destroy U.S. government buildings, court documents said. On June 18, Teeter told the source that a courthouse in northern Minnesota would be a suitable target for destruction.
According to court documents, on June 19, Teeter and Solomon met with the source and discussed a plot to destroy a courthouse.
Teeter also said in his guilty plea that he planned to make firearm sound suppressors, some of which could be sold.
Teeter and Solomon produced and delivered the five suppressors to the source and undercover FBI employee on July 30.
The two agreed to make additional suppressors for Hamas, court documents said.
On Aug. 29, Teeter and Solomon gave the undercover FBI employee a 3-D printed “auto sear” believing that the auto sear would be used by Hamas to convert semiautomatic rifles into fully automatic ones, court documents said.
A sentencing date for Teeter will be scheduled at a later time.