College professor, 55, accused of being a member of far-right Boogaloo movement ‘sent TWO DOZEN threatening letters to health official who ordered a coronavirus lockdown’ – before cops uncover explosives and 100 firearms inside his home
- Alan Viarengo, 55, is accused of sending 24 threatening letters to Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody between April and July
- Back in March, Dr. Cody hit headlines for being the first health official to order a county into lockdown
- The letters she received contained ‘misogynistic language, threats, and anti-government views’, slamming her for shutting the community down
- The letters also included words and images that investigators believe tie Viarengo to the far-right Boogaloo movement
- Viarengo is currently being held in prison; an attorney has disputed the claims saying the accused is ‘a dedicated father and respected professor’
College professor Alan Viarengo, 55, was taken into custody last week, before being charged with felony counts of stalking and harassing a public official. Investigators believe he is a member of the far-right ‘Boogaloo’ movement
An alleged member of the far-right anti-government ‘Boogaloo’ movement has been arrested on suspicion of sending threatening letters to a California health official.
College professor Alan Viarengo, 55, was taken into custody last week, before being charged with felony counts of stalking and harassing a public official.
Viarengo is accused of penning 24 menacing letters to Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody over a four month period, specifically targeting her for her response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The letters allegedly contained ‘misogynistic language, threats, pornography, and anti-government views,’ according to a police report obtained by NBC Bay Area.
They also featured ‘telltale Boogaloo slogans and imagery’, prompting officials to believe Viarengo is tied to the far-right movement.
The ‘Boogaloo’ movement hopes to exploit social unrest to start a second civil US war. Members are usually heavily armed, and two alleged ‘Boogaloo Boys’ have been charged with the shooting murder of a police officer and a federal security officer.
According to a police report obtained by NBC Bay Area, officers found more than 100 firearms in Viarengo’s home at the time of his arrest. They also uncovered explosives, thousands of rounds of ammunition and confederate flags.
The publication reports that he works as a part-time math professor at Gavilan College in Gilroy.
Police allege Viarengo penned 24 menacing letters to Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody (pictured) between April and July
Back in March, Dr. Cody hit headlines after she became the first county health officer in the nation to order her community into lockdown.
The demand made the top doctor a divisive figure, and she received considerable backlash. But the threatening letters – allegedly penned by Viarengo – caused serious concern.
NBC Bay Area reports that Dr. Cody received the first letter back on April 8, which stated: ‘We are stronger than you pigs in every way. We are out to defeat you.’
Over the next four months, 23 letters – all believed to have been written by the same person – arrived at Dr. Cody’s office.
In one, the writer claimed they had doxxed the doctor by publishing her personal address on the internet.
‘I’m glad you are getting threats. I posted your residence everywhere I could; I hope someone follows through,’ they wrote.
‘You’re done…it’s over…say goodbye,’ another letter read.
A separate message read: ‘Maybe this is the spark we need for a bloody revolution!’
The ‘Boogaloo’ movement hopes to exploit social unrest to start a second civil US war. Members are usually heavily armed, and two alleged ‘Boogaloo Boys’ have been charged with the shooting murder of a police officer and a federal security officer
One message that turned up in June featured a drawing of an igloo on the envelope, accompanied by the words: ‘Let’s Boogie’.
Investigators believe they are specific references to the Boogaloo movement.
Viarengo reportedly has a history of penning intimidating letter and soon became a person of interest in the investigation.
Detectives began surveillance of Viarengo and reportedly saw him drop a letter inside a mailbox on July 29 that was addressed to Dr. Sara Cody and ‘mocked her for her handling of the pandemic’.
In this May 2 photo, people, including those with the Boogaloo movement, demonstrate against business closures due to concern about COVID-19, at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire
Deputy District Attorney Alexander Adams said this week that he believes the letters link the accused to the Boogaloo movement.
‘That connection was made based on the investigation linking both the language and symbols used in the multiple letters that he sent.’
Viarengo has been remanded in custody, but has not yet entered a plea.
Attorney Cody Salfen says is Viarengo is innocent.
‘He is a dedicated father, husband, community activist, respected professor, and volunteer,’ Salfen said.
‘Each year, he devotes over 400 hours of his time, guiding and teaching youth and other members of the Bay Area communities he serves. He works two jobs to support his family.’
Salfen also questioned the credibility of the a Santa Clara County Police Department after a Sheriff’s Captain was charged with bribery.
‘Law enforcement officers directly involved … have serious credibility issues,’ he stated.
A member of the Gavilan Joint Community College DistricT, where Viarengo works part-time, said the school was shocked, but the charges are not related work to the accused’s work there.
‘As members of the college community, however, we are shocked and saddened by what took place, and will cooperate with law enforcement fully if it is required,’ said Kathleen A. Rose in a message provided to The Associated Press.
Dr. Cody was said to be scared for her safety, particularly after the letter writer had claimed to have leaked her personal details on the internet