Renton man sentenced for bringing explosives to 2020 protest

Sep 19, 2023, 6:25 AM | Updated: 8:21 am

renton sentanced explosives 2020...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

A 35-year-old Renton man was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for his role in a plot to burn down the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) building.

Justin Moore pleaded guilty last year to making and carrying a box of Molotov cocktails during the 2020 protests in downtown Seattle.

More on the 2020 protest: Report on 2020 protests recommends new training for SPD, debunks “mob psychology”

“What you did showed a complete disregard for human life,” U.S. District Judge Lauren King said at the sentencing hearing. “Our ability to peacefully assemble is a fundamental right to our society. Your acts of violence can deter people from exercising that fundamental right.”

According to the trial, Moore made and carried a box of 12 Molotov cocktails during a march on the SPOG building in SoDo on September 7, 2020. The marchers were redirected by police, and police smelled gasoline and “grew concerned about the intentions of protestors.”

Eventually, police found the box of 12 gasoline devices in the parking lot next to the SPOG headquarters, and using video from the events as well as electronic device information, Moore was confirmed to be the one with the box.

In June 2021, law enforcement got a warrant to search Moore’s home, where they found clothes that matched what Moore was seen wearing, as well as items used in the manufacture of explosives and a notebook that police say Moore made notes on making the weapons.

More on WA law enforcement: City officials ‘disgusted’ by SPD bodycam footage, says ‘fix the culture’

“Moore’s offense was extremely dangerous and created a substantial risk of injury to numerous bystanders, Moore carried the box of twelve Molotov cocktails in a crowd of over 1,000 people who were participating in the protest march,” Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg said in a press release. “All of them were in harm’s way if one of the devices had exploded.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and the Seattle Police Department.

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Renton man sentenced for bringing explosives to 2020 protest