A prominent white supremacist propagandist who once claimed to have influenced the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter is under investigation by authorities in California, a law enforcement official said on Monday.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department told HuffPost that Andrew Richard Casarez has been under investigation for the last several weeks and that his home has been searched.
“Detectives obtained a Gun Violence Restraining Order against him and served a search warrant at a residence ... where they seized a firearm,” the department said in a statement.
The restraining order prohibits Casarez from having a gun, ammunition or gun magazine.
According to court documents reviewed by HuffPost, the sheriff’s department obtained the order earlier this month after anti-fascist researchers known as the Anonymous Comrades Collective published a report exposing Casarez’s role as the pseudonymous leader of a fascist group that advocates acts of domestic terror targeting minorities.
“Based on my training and experience now that Casarez has been outed as a white supremacist and he has lost his anonymity there is a likelihood that he could become a ‘lone wolf’ attacker to prove his status to the cause,” a sergeant in the sheriff’s office wrote in a July 13 statement requesting the restraining order.
The sergeant also stated that Casarez had plans to build his own AR-15, which would be unregistered and illegal in California.
Court documents show that authorities on July 15 seized four objects from Casarez’s Orangevale, California, home: a 9 mm gun, a gun case with two empty magazines, a pair of gray jeans and a “black Teeshirt with skull and crossbones with bowl cut hair piece on top.”
The new information comes just days after HuffPost confirmed that Casarez was the leader of the Bowl Patrol, a neo-Nazi group that canonizes white supremacist killers like Dylann Roof. “Bowl” is a reference to Roof’s bowl-cut hairstyle.
Casarez is a 27-year-old restaurant worker in the Sacramento area who for years posted online as “Vic Mackey,” a name taken from the corrupt, racist cop on the TV drama “The Shield.”
Under his pseudonym, Casarez encouraged acts of domestic terror and called for violence against people of color. On his podcast, he boasted about his alleged connection to Robert Bowers, who is charged with the deadly shooting of 11 people inside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. And Casarez has made a point to brag about real-world crimes in his area.
In 2017, synagogue Temple Or Rishon in Orangevale was defaced with more than a dozen posters praising Adolf Hitler, the white supremacist website Daily Stormer, and Roof, who murdered nine Black people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015. Earlier this year, a newly opened Sikh temple in Orangevale was vandalized with a spray-painted swastika and the words “white power.”
Casarez seemed particularly interested in the vandalism at the synagogue, posting a surveillance photo released by police that showed two white males with their faces covered approaching the building. Casarez had altered the image to give the two individuals bowl-style haircuts.
“What absolute monsters could have done such a thing?!” he wrote of the vandalism in a Discord chat that was leaked by independent media collective Unicorn Riot.
Two years later, Casarez seemed to have detailed knowledge about the best way to deface a building and get away with it. Speaking on his podcast, he suggested wearing gloves when printing out posters and cautioned against using adhesive tape to put them up because “it can remove paint, and they can consider it vandalism.”
In the case of Temple Or Rishon, removing the posters ripped paint off the walls, which gave investigators the property damage charge they needed to classify the vandalism as a hate crime.
“Detectives are aware of the incidents [at the synagogue and the Sikh temple], as well as allegations of Andrew Casarez’s involvement in these crimes,” the sheriff’s department said in its statement.
Police added that federal authorities are assisting in the investigation. Casarez did not respond to a request for comment.