According to an FBI search warrant filed Friday in Washington, D.C., a former Green Beret and one-time congressional candidate arrested last month for his alleged participation in the Capitol riot was illegally stockpiling explosives prior to being jailed on charges related to the Jan. 6 pro-Trump siege.
When federal officials searched Jeremy Brown’s Florida house in October, they discovered a short-barreled rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, over 8,000 rounds of ammunition, and two hand grenades. However, it was a photograph featured in a sales ad for his property on Zillow that caused his most recent problems.
According to the request, FBI officers saw a whiteboard with columns labeled “Food,” “Clothing,” “Shelter,” “Currency,” “Communicate,” “Move,” and “Shoot” in a snapshot from what seems to be Brown’s office. It goes on to say that in the “shoot” column, “there are numerous firearms listed as well as explosive devices such as ‘flash bangs.’” The entry on the whiteboard indicated that Brown had the flash bangs “on hand,” according to the filing, which adds that Brown “is not registered to possess explosive devices.”
Agents are now attempting to search a trailer on Brown’s property, which the FBI believes he purchased about a month ago: “[I]t is unlikely that an individual would market a home available for public inspection with guns and explosives inside of the home, [thus] it is probable ammunition, and explosives, which constitute potential evidence in the investigation, have been moved to the RV or trailer,” according to the warrant. Brown is still imprisoned after a court determined in October that he was a risk to the community.
Prosecutors said Brown identified himself as a member of Oath Keepers, an American far-right anti-government militia movement made up of current and former military and police officers who claim to be protecting the United States Constitution.
The FBI said it started investigating Brown on Jan. 25 after receiving information from a person who represented himself as Brown’s long-time associate. On Jan. 5, the informant provided the FBI with many images showing Brown dressed in tactical gear, but he was uncertain whether Brown entered the Capitol during the violence.
The FBI matched the informant’s images to photos and video obtained during the Capitol siege on Jan. 6 and 7 “located a publicly available photo of him wearing the same distinctive attire standing just before the east side steps of the Capitol during the riots of Jan. 6. He was more than 100 feet within the restricted grounds that law enforcement had originally set up to protect Congress and Vice President Pence during the certification of the Electoral College vote.”
According to the FBI, Brown was dressed in full military gear, including a helmet, radio, tactical vest, and conspicuously displayed huge surgical trauma shears tucked into a bag resting on the vest — “nearly the exact attire that he wore on the prior day”
“Metropolitan police officers, in attempting to re-secure the Capitol grounds, advanced in a line and yelled, ‘Back,’ in unison,” said the FBI is a court affidavit. “Instead of voluntarily complying with police orders, Brown only retreated when pushed with police baton sticks. During this encounter, Brown repeatedly claimed that the officers were, in his opinion, violating the laws and the Constitution of the United States.”
According to the FBI, throughout the investigation, another Tampa Bay defendant who pled guilty to conspiracy to impede an official process after the Capitol disturbances stated he took a ride-share to Brown’s house on Jan. 4 to prepare for the Jan. 6 trip to Washington, D.C. According to the FBI, he, Brown, and others used Signal1 communication, an encrypted messaging service, to arrange their travel plans and meeting.
According to the FBI, Brown sent the following message to the members of the gang on December 23: “We have a RV an Van going. Plenty of Gun Ports left to fill. We can pick you up.”
According to the FBI, Brown wrote on Jan. 1 — referring to his recreational RV as Ground Force One —: “If you can, come to my house anytime Saturday. You can stop by and drop stuff off, or stay the night. This way we can load plan, route plan, and conduct PCIs (pre-combat inspections). I would LIKE to depart by 0645 on Sunday morning, Jan 3rd. Push through to the NC linkup on the 3rd, RON (rest over night) there, then push to DC on the 4th. This will give us the 4th/5th to set up, conduct route recons, CTR (close target reconnaissance) and any link ups needed with DC elements.”
According to the FBI, Brown’s message continued: “If you need to be picked up, then we will work that into route plan and will provide exact pickup time by Saturday evening. Please have EVERYTHING ready once we arrive. It will be an ERO (engine running onload). IF YOU ARE RIDING WITH ME, dm me with your plan to come here or be picked up. I will send address via the dm. I am willing to make adjustments all the way up until we pass your ass headed north, but it is now time to sh-t or get on someone else’s pot. READY? GO!!!”
Following the Capitol siege Jan. 6, the FBI discovered a message sent from Brown’s Twitter account, @brownforcongress2020:
“Everything you are watching on the Media and Houses of Congress is a LIE! I was shot in the neck with pepper balls and beating in the forearm with a night stick trying to shield unprotected Civilians from being hit in the head. This was an exercise in the unrestrained addiction to power.”
U.S. District Judge Sean P. Flynn said his decision to deny Brown bail was based on a handwritten note left in front of his residence when federal officials arrived earlier this year.
On the placard, he advised the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to “bring a bigger tactical package” if they returned to his house.
Flynn said that he could not overlook the gravity of the situation.
Brown launched a Facebook page named “Brown For Liberty 2021” after his arrest, which has since been deleted.
On it, he wrote, “The FBI and DHS tried to turn me against America. Who the HELL did they think I was…Hunter Biden?”
Brown stated that in December, he was contacted by the FBI and requested to infiltrate the Oath Keepers. He allegedly informed investigators that he was at the Capitol to offer protection for “VIPs” attending the Stop the Steal event.