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Man arrested in plot to burn down Seattle police union building during 2020 protests

Justin Christopher Moore, 34, is being charged for bringing a dozen Molotov cocktails to the SPOG headquarters on Labor Day in 2020.

SEATTLE — A Renton man has been arrested and charged for allegedly bringing a dozen Molotov cocktails to the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) headquarters during a protest on Labor Day in 2020.

Justin Christopher Moore, 34, was arrested Thursday in connection to a plot to burn down the downtown SPOG building, according to the Department of Justice.

During a court appearance Friday, Moore was ordered detained pending a hearing on Dec. 15.

The incident occurred during a protest that ended with 22 people being arrested after police said marchers threw explosives and rocks at officers and sprayed some of them with bear spray.

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Marchers were eventually moved away from the SPOG building after officers smelled gasoline and “grew concerned about the intentions of the protestors.”

A box containing what would be identified as 12 Molotov cocktails was found in the parking lot next to the SPOG building.

Investigators were able to piece together video from that protest, other protests and information from electronic devices of other “co-conspirators.” They determined that Moore, who was initially arrested in January 2021 after breaking into the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market, was the person carrying the box containing the Molotov cocktails.

In June 2021, officers executed a search warrant on Moore’s home and found clothing that matched the clothing Moore was wearing when he was seen carrying the Molotov cocktails.

In Moore’s basement, officers found numerous items that can be used to make explosives, including a four-pound bag of potassium nitrate, consumer fireworks, chemical heaters and matches. There were also a number of gas masks, sling-shots, bolt cutters and climbing harnesses recovered by officers, according to the criminal complaint.

Moore faces up to 10 years in prison for illegally possessing a destructive device. He'll make his first appearance in federal court Friday afternoon. 

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

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