Minnesota Boogaloo cases covered broad range of political motivations

Last week’s federal sentencing of a former anti-government Boogaloo Bois member brought an end to the latest chapter of politically motivated extremism to encroach on Minnesota — two years after it started amid the unrest over the police killing of George Floyd.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis sentenced Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 24, of Hampstead, N.C., to four years in federal prison for his role in a plot that included attempting to provide weapons to the Hamas terror group in exchange for resources for his Boogaloo Bois.

Teeter is the fourth Boogaloo member to be sentenced in Minnesota, concluding all of the criminal cases filed against the group’s adherents to date. Their cases underscore the difficult-to-pin-down nature of a movement whose followers subscribe to a loose ideology, with criminal plots hatched amid racial justice protests and demonstrations in support of former President Donald Trump alike.

Benjamin Teeter and Michael Solomon

Federal prosecutors first sought 20 years in prison for Teeter and Michael Robert Solomon, 32, of New Brighton. The government revised its request for Solomon to 10 years after he cooperated with investigators.

Davis opted to sentence them to lesser prison terms. Solomon received 3 1/2 years in prison when he was sentenced earlier this year.

The two were arrested and charged together after attempting to provide weapons to a federal informant they believed was working for Hamas. Solomon told the informant that he wanted to kill politicians and journalists and blow up a federal courthouse to send a message.

Both men have since expressed regret for their connection to the movement. Teeter’s attorney, Ian Birrell, wrote that Teeter had been radicalized as a domestic terrorist and that there “is little doubt that Mr. Teeter’s being arrested was the best thing that could have happened to him.”

Ivan Harrison Hunter

Hunter, the 24-year-old leader of a Texas-based Boogaloo chapter, received 4 1/3 years in prison when he was sentenced in April. He was charged in connection with the riots that followed Floyd’s murder and fired a semiautomatic weapon into the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct that was burned during the protests.

“Extremism — in whatever form it takes — is difficult to deter, yet the effort must be made,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Winter wrote in a memo arguing for Hunter’s eventual sentence.

Michael Paul Dahlager

Dahlager, 24, of St. Cloud, was the last Boogaloo member to be arrested to date and the only one whose activities were not linked to the 2020 unrest. He was sentenced earlier this year to two years in prison for illegally possessing auto sears, a device that converts a semiautomatic gun into a fully automatic weapon. His arrest came after making statements suggesting a plot to attack the Minnesota State Capitol during 2021 protests by Trump supporters over the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

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