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Galesburg man arrested on federal charges related to Minnesota, Chicago riots

Rupert, Matthew
Mattew Lee Rupert

(WEEK) -- A Galesburg man was taken into federal custody Monday on several charges after traveling to Minnesota and Chicago to riot and also for allegedly possessing explosive devises.

Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, had the following criminal complaint charges filed against him, according to the District of Minnesota's U.S. Attorney's Office: civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devises.

The federal complaint filed against Rupert alleges he posted messages on his Facebook account referencing the public protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the death of George Floyd.

Rupert posted on May 28, "I’m going to Minneapolis tomorrow who coming only goons I’m renting hotel rooms," according to the DoJ.

On May 29, the federal complaints allege he posted a video to the account where he can be seen passing out explosive devices he possessed and encouraging others to throw his explosives at officers actively damaging property, appearing to light a building on fire and looting businesses in Minneapolis.

According to the allegations in the complaint, in the video, Rupert said, “They got SWAT trucks up there . . . I’ve got some bombs if some of you all want to throw them back . . . bomb them back . . . here I got some more . . . light it and throw it.”

The Department of Justice says Rupert allegedly made the statements as he hands out an item with brown casing and a green wick to other individuals.

The video also depicts Rupert asking for lighter fluid before entering a Sprint store, followed by saying, “I lit it on fire.”

Rupert then traveled to the Chicago area on May 31.

While in Chicago, Rupert posts more to his Facebook. In one video, rupert can be heard saying, "Let's start a riot," and "I'm going to start doing some damage."

He and his associates were then arrested by Chicago police officers at about 2:21 a.m. May 31 for violating Chicago's emergency curlew order.

Law enforcement officers searched his vehicle where they located "several destructive devices," a hammer, a heavy-duty flashlight and cash, according to the DoJ.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela M. Munoz and Jordan L. Sing.

It's not clear where Rupert is being held at.

Drew Veskauf

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