St. Paul Man Sentenced to 14.5 Years in Prison for Multiple Armed Robberies of University Avenue Grocery Stores
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Michael Solomon, 31, of New Brighton, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to provide material support and resources, namely property, services and weapons, to what he believed was Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization, for use against Israeli and U.S. military personnel overseas.
According to court documents, in late May of 2020, the FBI initiated an investigation into Solomon and co-defendant Benjamin Ryan Teeter, two members of the “Boogaloo Bois,” and a sub-group called the “Boojahideen.” The Boogaloo Bois are a group of individuals who espouse violent anti-government sentiments.
According to court documents, on June 10, 2020, Solomon and Teeter met with a confidential human source (“CHS”), whom the defendants believed to be a member of Hamas. During this meeting, Solomon and Teeter proposed assisting Hamas as a means of furthering the goals of the Boogaloo Bois. Throughout the course of the conspiracy, Solomon used encrypted messaging applications to communicate with Teeter and the CHS about various aspects of the conspiracy.
On June 28, 2020, Solomon, Teeter, and the CHS, met an undercover employee of the FBI (“UCE) that Solomon believed was a member of Hamas. During this meeting, Solomon and Teeter proposed manufacturing suppressors, untraceable firearms, and fully automatic firearms for Hamas.
On July 6, 2020, Solomon and Teeter purchased a drill press for the purpose of manufacturing suppressors for Hamas. Solomon admits that he and Teeter had planned to use the drill press to also manufacture suppressors for members of the Boogaloo Bois. Solomon and Teeter brought the drill press to Solomon’s home and later used the drill press to manufacture five suppressors.
On July 30, 2020, Solomon and Teeter delivered the suppressors to the CHS and UCE believing those devices would be used by the militant wing of Hamas. During that meeting, the defendants agreed to manufacture additional suppressors for Hamas believing that the next batch of suppressors would be used against Israeli and U.S. military personnel overseas.
Solomon admitted that he and Teeter again met the UCE on August 29, 2020. During this meeting, the defendants gave the UCE a 3-D printed “auto sear” believing that the auto sear would be used by Hamas to convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic rifles. At this time, Solomon and Teeter agreed to obtain, and did obtain, another order of auto sears for the CHS and the UCE.
Solomon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Solomon faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk for the District of Minnesota; Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division; and Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis accepted the plea.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the case, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter, and Trial Attorneys George Kraehe and Felice John Viti of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.