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Legal Updates from the RNC protests in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Bradley Crowder, and a photo allegedly showing him with a helmet and arm pads lifting a street sign to throw onto a roadway.
Two men from Austin, Texas David Guy McKay, 22 and Bradley Neil Crowder, 23 are being held on charges that they constructed and possessed eight molotov cocktails. Police discovered the devices with the help of two confidential informants, one of whom traveled from Texas for the protests. FBI agents named the group the "Austin Area Affinity Group."
The group brought with them a rented U-Haul trailer packed with batons and homemade riot shields that had been fashioned out of traffic barrels and plexiglass. Authorities claim the shields were designed as offensive weapons because of protruding screws that held the shield together faced outward and could theoretically be pushed into police.
One informant who was traveling with the group took one of the 35 shields to the police who acted quickly and seized the trailer's contents on August 31st, before the convention began. The police did not bother to obtain a search warrant before acting on their informant's tip so it is unlikely that anyone can be charged in connection with the materials confiscated from the trailer.
The two face charges outlined in an affidavit signed by Special Agent Christopher V. Langert. Langert, 40, has been with the F.B.I. for the last 10 years and has investigated environmentally focused anarchist organizing in the past. Agent Langert also authored the affidavit that supports RNC related charges against another anarchist, Matthew DePalma. According to the affidavit McKay confessed that he did construct the molotov cocktails and he went on to implicate Crowder as his accomplice.
Since their arrests authorities have named both Crowder and McKay as "prime suspects" in the June blaze that destroyed the 152-year-old Texas Governor's Mansion. The building was burned beyond repair by a lone individual with a molotov cocktail. The act was caught on serveilance footage but no one has been arrested for the crime and no motive has yet been made public. No one was injured in by the fire.
Authorities arrested 23-year-old Michigan resident Matthew DePalma for possessing five molotov cocktails. According to an FBI affidavit DePalma met an FBI informant at the annual Crimethinc. Convergence that was held in Waldo, Wisconsin in July. According to the affidavit the informant asked DePalma to contact him when he got to Minnesota for the convention.
Between the 15th and 28th of August DePalma assembled five fire bombs with the assistance of the FBI informant who drove DePalma to stores and gas stations where they purchased supplies. Two of the bombs were tested and three were left with the informant with the understanding that people other than DePalma would put them to use while protesting the Republican convention.
The affidavit specified that the informant in this case has been working with the FBI for at least five years. An informant who infiltrated the Minneapolis based RNC Welcoming Committee and is confirmed to have attended the Waldo, WI Crimethinc. gathering has already been exposed although not much detailed information about him has been publicized.
A Saint Paul Police Department Bulletin that appealed to assistance from the public led to two tips that resulted in the arrest of 23-year-old Jason Sparks. Sparks, a resident of the neighboring city of Fridley is accused of smashing a $17,000 plate-glass window at the First National Bank Building with his hands. He faces a felony count of criminal damage to property and is also alleged to have kicked a police car.
Although the individual sought by police had their face obscured by a bandanna they did not cover their hair or a piercing over their right eye. Sparks is no longer in custody and awaits arraignment. At least one other individual was arrested and charged similarly for allegedly breaking windows during anti-RNC demonstrations.
Saint Paul, Minnesota - 23-Year-old David Terence Mahoney faces charges of assault and "terroristic threats" for allegedly dropping a 50-pound sandbag off an overpass along Interstate 94 during the first day of the protests. The bag landed harmlessly out of the way of traffic.
Although the individual who hurled the weight off the overpass was masked, authorities say that they were able to identify Mahoney by a distinctive tattoo on his back. According to police he was arrested at the home of a member of the RNC Welcoming Committee, eight of whom still face felony conspiracy charges.