MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (FOX 2) - The arrests of the members of the Michigan militia Wolverine Watchmen happened just days after a man suspected to be part of the Boogaloo movement was killed by federal officials.
Federal authorities are cracking down on anti-government groups and local cells like the Wolverine Watchmen, which is accused of plotting to kidnap and question Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Last Friday, authorities tried to arrest another man, 43-year-old Eric Allport, who is also believed to be part of the anti-government group The Boogaloo Movement.
One of the members, Mike Dunn, claimed Allport as a martyr.
"As far as I know he was a Boogaloo Boy. He embodied our ideology our beliefs he lived with liberty on his mind and they killed him," Dunn said.
The FBI would not discuss the case. As FOX 2 dove into Allport's past, it reveals shows anti-government and anti-law enforcement sentiment, all aligning with the movement.
Alex Friedfeld is one of the country's leading experts in The Boogaloo Movement, which has gained momentum in the last year.
"It fits within the book of the ideology, this notion of, you know, the lone American standing up against acts of tyranny," Friedfeld said. "What we're concerned about are these small cells of Boogaloos who are all-consuming the same rhetoric, right, they're consuming this violent content that is saying there is a problem right now in America, and you need to do something."
They are not race-driven or affiliated with a political party. Friedfeld said the death of Allport is like a fantasy scenario for the group.
"There is this kind of notion of You know, American standing up against law enforcement to we're trying to take away their firearms," Friedfeld said.
Sources tell FOX 2 it was important to get Allport off the streets before the statewide raids on the Wolverine Watchmen this week for fear of how he would react.
"Looking at what's happening in this country and kind of this unrest that's happening and consuming this messaging that saying that there are problems in America that you need to deal with, that's where the danger is going to come in the next few months,"
FOX 2 saw Allport's parents at his home Thursday where he lived with his pregnant wife.
Past reporting on the family suggests they are white separatists. In the early 90s Allport and his family lived in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and were close friends, neighbors with the white supremacist family at the center of the infamous Ruby Ridge Standoff between Randy Weaver and US Marshals who were attempting to arrest Weaver on federal weapons charges.
The same charges - that led to Allport's death.