Looter is charged after posting images on social media in which he distributed bombs for throwing at the police
A Illinois man who traveled from Chicago to Minneapolis faces federal charges after streaming live footage of himself on social media lighting fires, looting and bombs to be thrown at the police.
Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, was arrested in Chicago on Sunday after sharing videos on Facebook Live in which he shared explosives, bragged about setting fire to a Sprint store, and looting last week in both Minneapolis and Chicago.
According to the criminal complaint filed with the Minnesota U.S. District Court on Monday, Rupert had traveled to the city where George Floyd was murdered to participate in riots before returning to Chicago where he urged others to join him in civil cause unrest.
He has been charged with civil unrest, participation in and organization of a riot and possession of unregistered explosives, making him the first to receive federal charges against the Minneapolis riots since Floyd’s death last Monday put.
Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, (pictured in his mug) was arrested Sunday in Chicago after sharing videos on Facebook Live sharing explosives to other protesters, boasting about setting a Sprint store on fire and looting last week
Rupert wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday evening calling for ‘goons’ to travel with him to Minneapolis and ‘make good videos’.
“I’m going to Minneapolis tomorrow, because I’m only coming up. I rent hotel rooms,” he wrote on the bill under the name El Ricco Rupert.
He then livestreamed videos of himself on Friday evening and early Monday morning, handing out explosives to others and setting a Sprint store on fire, the criminal complaint said.
In a video that appears to have been filmed by Rupert on Friday night, he hands out homemade explosives and claims other people use them to ‘bomb the police’ and proudly says ‘we came here to riot’.
“There are SWAT trucks there. They have SWAT trucks there … I have some bombs if some of you want to throw them all back … bomb them back … here I have some more … light it and throw it, ‘he gets said on camera, says the affidavit.
He is then seen handing out devices to others.
“He’s throwing my bombs … they’re going to bombard the police with it,” he tells his followers on social media.
Rupert shared the images on his Facebook account called El Ricco Rupert
During Rupert’s arrest (shown in some of the images), police found “ various destructive devices ” similar to those used in the images shot in Minneapolis, a hammer, a flashlight, and cash in his car, according to the authorities
The images of Rupert (above) are now used as evidence in the charges against him
In a video, he is seen plundering an Office Depot store, while another bragging about setting fire to a Sprint store, criminal complaint argues
“Good shot, boy,” he hears a protester tell them after they drop the bomb at the police, the complaint says.
Later on Friday evening, the footage shows Rupert asking for lighter fluid before entering a Sprint store, then bragging that he set it on fire, the complaint said.
“I set it on fire,” he said, before going to an office depot where he was caught on the camera looting some goods.
In another image mentioned in the affidavit, Rupert shares a photo of a blister’s hand saying he had tried to pick up a tear gas bomb.
Rupert livestreamed images of himself (above) on social media that light fires, loot and hand out bombs to people to throw at police officers
Rupert then reportedly posted multiple videos on Sunday morning through Chicago after returning and encouraged people to join him for riots there
The looter then told his social media followers on Saturday evening that he returned to Chicago to rebel there, calling on people to join him in chaos on the city streets, according to the complaint.
‘[Let me know] who’s on board, I have cars, we have this, ‘he wrote.
Rupert reportedly posted several videos in early Sunday as he walked through Chicago wearing an American flag bandana and a white baseball cap.
In one video, the suspect appears to be filming himself in front of a shop with a smashed window before pointing in to a cash register.
“There must be a register there,” he hears.
The video then shows someone going through the broken window as the camera follows them inside.
The complaint says that Rupert went to a store, but found the cash register empty, so he went to a convenience store where he put stuff in his backpack.
He would therefore brag about having boxes of tobacco products in his bag.
Protesters demonstrate Friday outside of a burning fast-food restaurant in Minneapolis
Police tear gas Saturday a demonstrator in the city where George Floyd was murdered last week
The footage also shows Rupert saying “let’s start a riot” and “I’m going to do some damage,” the complaint said.
Rupert along with other rioters was arrested at 2:21 a.m. Sunday for breaking the curfew in Chicago.
During his arrest, police found “several destructive devices” similar to those used in the images shot in Minneapolis, a hammer, a flashlight, and cash in his car, according to authorities.
His videos are now used as evidence in the FBI’s charges against him.
Rupert faces federal charges over crossing state lines to rebel.
A judge ordered that he be transferred to Minnesota to undergo future proceedings.
The charge against the Chicago man is because several U.S. officials have blamed the violence in Minnesota and other cities for people traveling from other areas.