Washington Man Sentenced for Bringing Box of Molotov Cocktails to Protest March in Seattle on Labor Day, in 2020

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - According to the Office of Public Affairs - Department of Justice, a  Washington man was sentenced on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 in the U.S. District Court in Seattle to 40 months in prison for his role in a plot to burn the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) building in downtown Seattle in September 2020.

According to court documents, Justin Christopher Moore, 35, of Renton, made and carried a box of 12 Molotov cocktails in a protest march to the Seattle Police Officers Guild building on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2020. Ultimately, the marchers were moved away from the building in downtown Seattle. Police smelled gasoline and grew concerned about the intentions of protestors. The box containing the 12 gasoline devices was found in the parking lot next to the SPOG building. Using video from that day and from other protests, as well as information from the electronic devices of other co-conspirators, Moore was confirmed as the person seen carrying the box of destructive devices.

In June 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Moore’s residence. They seized clothing that is consistent with the images of what Moore was wearing when he carried the Molotov cocktails. From the basement storage area, they also recovered numerous items that are consistent with manufacturing explosive devices. Law enforcement recovered a notebook in which Moore had made entries related to the manufacturing of destructive devices and the ingredients necessary.

In asking for a 41-month sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg for the Western District of Washington noted that carrying and leaving the box of explosive bottles was inherently dangerous. “Moore’s offense was extremely dangerous and created a substantial risk of injury to numerous bystanders…. Moore carried the box of 12 Molotov cocktails in a crowd of over 1,000 people who were participating in the protest march. All of them were in harm’s way if one of the devices had exploded.”

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

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg for the Western District of Washington prosecuted the case, with valuable assistance provided by the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Updated September 13, 2023


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