A Warsaw, Mo., man who claims to be a member of the self-styled 2nd American Militia was indicted by a federal grand jury today for escaping from the Phelps County Jail, where he was being detained on federal charges related to his role in a conspiracy to murder Border Patrol officers following a shootout with FBI agents.
Jonathan S. O’Dell, 33, was charged with one count of escaping from custody in a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City, Mo. This third superseding indictment includes the original charges against O’Dell and co-defendant Bryan C. Perry, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee.
O’Dell escaped from the Phelps County Jail in Rolla, Mo., on Sept. 29, 2023. He was recaptured in Ray County, Mo., on Oct. 1, 2023, and remains in federal custody without bond.
The 45-count third superseding indictment alleges that Perry and O’Dell participated in a conspiracy to murder officers and employees of the United States government. They allegedly planned to travel to Texas to shoot at illegal immigrants crossing the United States – Mexico border. According to the indictment, they also planned to murder officers and employees of the U.S. Border Patrol who would attempt to stop them.
In addition, the indictment also alleges that Perry and O’Dell participated in a conspiracy to assault federal officers and employees and a conspiracy to injure federal officers and employees. The indictment also charges them together in seven counts of the attempted murder of FBI special agents, seven counts of assaulting FBI special agents with a deadly weapon, three counts of assaulting FBI special agents, 14 counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of damaging federal property.
Perry is also charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, one count of the possession of body armor by a violent felon, one count of possessing an explosive, and one count of threatening to injure another person. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Perry has a prior felony conviction for robbery.
O’Dell is also charged with one count of possessing a firearm while subject to a court order of protection, one count of threatening to injure another person, and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.
Throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2022, the indictment says, Perry and O’Dell recruited and attempted to recruit other individuals to join their militia group. They advertised a recruitment event in Warsaw prior to leaving for the United States – Mexico border.
On Sept. 5, 2022, Perry traveled from Tennessee to Warsaw to live with O’Dell. They allegedly used O’Dell’s residence as a staging site as they prepared for their trip to the border and collected firearms, paramilitary gear, ammunition, and other supplies.
The federal indictment cites a series of social media posts from Perry. On Sept. 12, 2022, Perry posted a video on TikTok in which he discussed illegal immigrants coming into the United States from Mexico. Perry stated that the U.S. Border Patrol was committing treason by allowing these illegal immigrants to enter the United States and that the penalty for treason was death. Perry posted another video on TikTok the next day in which he stated that he was “ready to go to war against this government.”
On Sept. 22, 2022, Perry posted a video on TikTok in which he stated, “We’re out to shoot to kill” and that “our group is gonna go protect this country.” On Oct. 3, 2022, Perry posted a video on TikTok in which he stated, “We were going out huntin’,” that his group was taking their “full kits,” and that they were leaving for the United States – Mexico border on Oct. 8, 2022.
On Oct. 3, 2022, Perry held a phone conversation with an unidentified individual in which Perry stated they were going to go down to the United States – Mexico border to “start a war.” Perry expressed their plan to shoot people coming across the border and to shoot “federal agents” who would oppose them. Perry also stated they would acquire gear and supplies from federal agents after they “take a couple of ’em out.”
On Oct. 7, 2022, according to the indictment, Perry and O’Dell had amassed six firearms, 23 magazines filled with ammunition, 1,770 rounds of various other ammunition, two sets of body armor with corresponding plate carrier vests, a handheld radio, two sniper rests, two gas masks, two items that appeared to be ballistic helmets, and multiple containers of a binary explosive mixture commonly sold as an exploding target.
On Oct. 7, 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at O’Dell’s residence and took O’Dell and Perry into custody. Federal agents approached the property in vehicles with red and blue lights activated. As the FBI approached, an agent utilized a loudspeaker on one of the vehicles, stating that they were with the FBI and that they had a search warrant for the residence. The FBI agent began to repeat the announcement, again stating that they were with the FBI when gunshots were fired from a front window at the lead FBI vehicle. Several rounds hit the lead FBI vehicle. According to the indictment, Perry fired 11 shots from his Voodoo Innovations multi-caliber rifle with AM-15 lower receivers. FBI special agents did not return fire and, after the gunshots ceased, the FBI established a perimeter and began communicating with the persons inside the residence to come out.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Casey Clark and Ashley Turner. It was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Phelps County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Ray County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Caldwell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.