Renton man pleads guilty to federal charges for possession of molotov cocktails

The man planned to use the explosives on a police guild building during the 2020 protests.

On Sept. 22, a 34-year-old Renton man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in connection with the plot to burn the Seattle Police Officers Guild building in downtown Seattle in September 2020.

According to the plea agreement, Justin Christopher Moore admits he made and carried a box of 12 Molotov cocktails in a protest march to the Seattle Police Officers Guild building on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2020.

Ultimately, the marchers were moved away from the building in downtown Seattle, when police smelled gasoline and grew concerned about the intentions of protestors. The box containing the 12 gasoline devices was found in the parking lot next to the police guild building.

Using video from that day and from other protests, as well as information from the electronic devices of other co-conspirators, Moore was confirmed as the person seen carrying the box of destructive devices.

In June 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Moore’s residence. They seized clothing that is consistent with the images of what Moore was wearing when he carried the Molotov cocktails. From the basement storage area they also recovered numerous items that are consistent with manufacturing explosive devices. Law enforcement recovered a notebook in which Moore had made entries related to the manufacturing of destructive devices and the ingredients necessary.

Unlawful possession of a destructive device is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Moore will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lauren King on December 21, 2022.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fireworks & Explosives, and the Seattle Police Department.