National Security

Prosecutors say California man possessed pipe bombs, threatened to attack Democrats

A California man was arrested this month after law enforcement discovered pipe bombs in his possession and text messages in which he threatened to attack Democrats, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California said in court filings submitted Tuesday that Ian Benjamin Rogers was arrested on Jan. 15 after law enforcement found five pipe bombs and several guns in a safe at his business in Napa County.

There was no mention of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol in the court documents or the prosecutors' press release.

"We allege that Ian Benjamin Rogers possessed homemade pipe bombs and the materials to make more," David Anderson, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, said in a statement. "We draw a bright line between lawlessness and our constitutional freedoms. We will prosecute illegal weapons stockpiles regardless of the motivation of the offender."

In an affidavit filed with the federal district court, an FBI agent said that investigators found text messages on Rogers's phone in which he talked about attacking Democratic officials and social media companies. In one message, which prosecutors said was sent on Jan. 11, Rogers allegedly wrote, "I want to blow up a democrat building bad."

According to the affidavit, Rogers had expressed his belief that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Trump and he wrote in one text, "I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn't I will."

Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, told The Hill he is not aware of any connection between the charges against Rogers and the Capitol riot.

It's unclear whether Rogers has an attorney. His business did not immediately respond to a message from The Hill.

Rogers is currently facing charges of possessing an unregistered destructive device.

Outbrain