A Wylie man accused of storming the U.S. Capitol has been ordered to remain in custody after prosecutors said he was recruiting people for the extremist Texas Three Percenters militia movement and planning for more political violence after the mob uprising, according to court records.
Guy Reffitt, 48, a drilling rig worker, told people he created a security business to circumvent gun laws and obtain high-grade weapons, according to newly-filed court records. And he said he was “willing to die” during the armed insurrection, according to prosecutors.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui in Washington D.C. said Reffitt appeared to be planning for violence before and after the Jan 6 uprising, citing his encrypted messages to other members of the far-right, antigovernment Three Percenters, which the FBI is currently building a conspiracy case against, The Washington Post reported.
“Here is someone who came armed and ready for battle, and for those reasons I conclude there is evidence that he would yet do that again, pose a danger to the community,” The Post quoted Faruqui as saying during Monday’s detention hearing.
Reffit had his first appearance in federal court in Sherman in January but elected to have his detention hearing held in Washington. He was arrested Jan. 18 after his son turned him in, court records show. Reffitt is charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and obstruction of justice through physical force or threat of physical force.
Reffitt’s attorney, William L. Welch III, argued that his client’s words never escalated into violent actions, and his family testified that he’s not violent and that they never felt threatened by him, according to The Post.
Reffitt told his family he went to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 “to protect the country” and that he brought a gun with him, an FBI affidavit says. He wore body armor, other tactical gear and a helmet with a camera mounted on it as he stormed the Capitol, authorities say.
“He predicted future political violence in statements both to his family and to fellow militia members, bragged to fellow militia members about his involvement in the riot, recruited other rioters into the militia, and ordered bear spray and riot shields to his home to prepare for further violence,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Nestler in a recent court filing examined by The Dallas Morning News.
Nestler wrote that Reffitt and another militia member drove to Washington on Jan. 5 during which Reffitt discussed “dragging those people out of the Capitol by their ankles” and installing a new government.
Reffitt brought an AR-15 rifle and a pistol with him on the trip and talked about “marching with heat,” the prosecutor said in his filing. On the morning of the riot, Reffitt discussed his plans for the day, which included conducting “recon” and then returning with “weapons hot,” according to the court filing.
Reffitt also said he was carrying his gun when he led the charge to the Capitol building steps, according to prosecutors.
“These messages, along with the weapons that Reffitt carried and the gear he wore, make clear that the defendant did not come to D.C. with the intention to engage in peaceful activity,” Nestler wrote.
Reffitt allegedly said during a secretly-recorded conversation that even after being hit with rubber bullets and pepper spray, “I’m still walking forward and not, not stopping.” And he said, “The bad people are in that building. They’re the bad people. They’re disgusting people,” court records say.
The government claims he also said he traveled far to do “what we wanted and needed to do.” He said he didn’t intend to be the “first guy up there,” but the adrenaline was flowing and he knew that “I can’t let my country fall,” court records say.
“I had every constitutional right to carry a weapon and take over the Congress, as we tried to do. We went in, they scurried like rats and hid,” Reffitt allegedly told a family member in a recorded conversation. “And guess what? I’m not done yet. I got a lot more to do.”
FBI agents who searched his Wylie home found an unregistered silencer in a gun safe, threaded to fit to a .22 caliber firearm also in the safe, court records say.
Nestler said in his filing that Reffit made “numerous admissions” in messages to other militia members, mostly on the Telegram app. He claimed, for example, to have ordered a riot shield and cans of bear spray, the prosecutor wrote.
In a Dec. 28 message, Reffitt allegedly wrote, “I will be in full battle rattle. If that’s a law I break, so be it but I won’t do it alone. They spent four years breaking the laws. The government has spent decades committing treason.”
And on Jan. 9, he urged other rioters to join his militia, the prosecutor said.
“I have a new security business to circumvent the 2nd Amendment issue,” Reffitt allegedly wrote. “We can get ammo and weapons available to law enforcement…join us and let’s take back our country. The fight has only just begun.”
Reffitt said he registered his new business in the name, TTP Security Services LLC, court records show. The government claims that is an acronym for Texas Three Percenters.
The term Three Percenter, also referred to as “III%ers” or “threepers,” is based on the myth that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British during the American Revolution. Authorities say it’s not a single group but more of a common belief that a small yet determined force of armed citizens can overthrow a government. Many independent militias incorporate it into their names.
Reffitt also wrote about future targets such as “MSM,” believed to be a reference to the mainstream media, and “Big Tech,” court records show. Reffitt repeated that threat in a recorded conversation at his home, saying: “We need to destroy the news media and start all over,” the prosecutor said in his filing.
The FBI has said Reffitt also threatened his family members, warning them to not turn him in. When he returned home, Reffitt told his family he had to “erase everything” because he thought the FBI was watching him, authorities say.
His 18-year-old son told authorities that Reffitt warned him not to report him or he would “do what he had to do,” the affidavit says. His son perceived that to be a threat, the FBI says. Reffitt also told his children to “choose a side or die,” the government alleges.
In a recent court filing, Welch, Reffitt’s attorney, said his client’s family still loves him and that the government has relied on generalization, mischaracterization, exaggeration and bragging to make its case.
“The Court should be extremely skeptical of believing just anything posted on the internet, bragging, and comments in the news media,” he wrote.
The Post quoted the judge as saying, “Even after the horror and tragedy of Jan.6, he still recruited people and tried to get them to join his militia and join its stated mission.”
Reffitt, who also has worked as a consultant in the petroleum industry, has prior misdemeanor convictions for carrying a weapon and drunken driving, according to federal court records.