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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A self-described member of an anti-government extremist group accused of taking advantage of the unrest after George Floyd's killing to raise money for the movement pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court.
Authorities say Michael Robert Solomon, 31, of New Brighton, Minnesota, sold silencers and other firearm components to FBI informants he believed were members of the Hamas terror group, Solomon faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Solomon is one of four men charged in Minnesota since last September to have been identified as members of the Boogaloo Bois, who frequently show up at protests armed with rifles and wearing Hawaiian shirts. Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, of Hampstead, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world.
Solomon said Tuesday that he was aware of five Boogaloo Bois members who traveled to Minneapolis after he invited people on Facebook to provide armed security for Black Lives Matter demonstrators. After the protests subsided, Solomon said, the group looked for ideas to raise money for their cause, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“Honestly, the money was if nothing else more just to keep prepping, to purchase more firearms, more ammunition, more body armor just to prepare for what… we always called the ‘(expletive) hitting the fan,’” Solomon told U.S. District Judge Michael Davis.