MO man charged with planning to murder a US border agent

A New York Times file photo shows Border Patrol agents.

A New York Times file photo shows Border Patrol agents.

Th New York Times

Two self-styled militia members, who were arrested after one shot at FBI agents at the Lake of the Ozarks, planned to travel to Texas shoot at undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border and murder Border Patrol agents who would have tried to stop them, according to new charges filed against them.

[–>

Jonathan O’Dell, 33, of Warsaw in Missouri’s Benton County, and 37-year-old Bryan Perry, of Tennessee, were arrested in October after Perry allegedly fired 11 shots at multiple FBI special agents trying to execute a search warrant at O’Dell’s residence.

[–>

At the time, little was known about why the FBI was searching the residence in the 30000 block of US 65 Highway, about 100 miles southeast of Kansas City.

[–>

But a 44-count second superseding indictment, returned this week by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City, alleges the men conspired to go “to war with” border patrol agents.

[–>

The men, who remain detained, now face charges of conspiracy to murder a federal officer and employee and attempted murder of a federal officer and employee, among other crimes. They face life in prison if convicted.

[–>

O’Dell’s attorney, Daniel Dodson, said he will plead not guilty and intends to “fight these charges.”

[–>

“It looks like the government intends to prove a lot of talk,” said Dodson, who is based in Jefferson City.

[–>

As early as winter 2021, the men communicated about their “various grievances” against the U.S. government. The next year, they recruited others to their group, “2nd American Militia,” according to the indictment.

[–>

Among their communications, Perry texted O’Dell images of the U.S. Capitol, the Secret Service’s headquarters and other government buildings in Washington, D.C., to “stop the madness going on,” prosecutors said.

[–>

Perry allegedly got a hold of a multi-caliber rifle weeks later and texted O’Dell to say he was “good to go.” In September 2022, Perry traveled to Warsaw, Missouri, to live with O’Dell, bringing the rifle, a handgun and body armor, according to the indictment.

[–>

That month, Perry posted a video on the social media app TikTok, in which he said Border Patrol was committing treason by allowing undocumented immigrants to enter the U.S., and that the penalty for treason “was death,” according to the indictment.

[–>

Perry posted another video the next day, saying he was “ready to go to war against this government,” prosecutors allege. In yet a different video, he allegedly said they were “out to shoot to kill” and that their group “is gonna go protect this country.”

[–>

Additionally, prosecutors allege Perry used TikTok to contact someone in Louisiana, listed in the indictment as “Individual #1,” to join he and O’Dell.

[–>

The men allegedly planned to leave for Eagle Pass, Texas, on Oct. 8 from a Warsaw grocery store. In one phone call, prosecutors allege, Perry told another person they would “acquire night vision goggles and ammunition from murdered federal law enforcement officers,” according to the indictment, which paraphrased his comments.

[–>

Days before they planned to leave, Perry and O’Dell practiced target shooting, prosecutors said. They allegedly amassed six guns, 1,770 rounds of ammunition, two gas masks and other items.

[–>

FBI agents showed up to O’Dell’s residence the day before the two apparently planned to leave. Gunshots rang out as Perry allegedly fired at the agents, striking the lead vehicle. The FBI did not fire back and eventually arrested both men.

[–>

Perry assaulted at least one agent while trying to avoid arrest, according to court records.

this story was originally published June 1, 2023, 11:23 AM.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Profile Image of Luke Nozicka

Luke Nozicka is an investigative reporter who focuses on criminal justice in Missouri and Kansas. In 2021, his reporting was credited with helping to free Kevin Strickland, a Kansas City man who spent more than 40 years in prison for a triple murder he did not commit. Nozicka is now reporting to Kansas City, Kansas, police.

Similar Posts