Trucker convoy in disarray: Ousting of 'Nazi' leads to mutual accusations of snitching to the Feds
Telegram video screengrab

Ryan Sanchez, a Groyper-aligned white supremacist, has pulled out of the People’s Convoy on the second day of the group’s trek from southern California to Washington, DC after getting called out by Three Percenter leader Erik Rohde.

Sanchez has made no secret of his desire to infiltrate the anti-COVID restriction convoy effort for the purpose of mainstreaming white nationalism into the broader conservative movement. In a post on Telegram earlier this month, Sanchez cited his involvement in the Stop the Steal rallies at Huntington Beach Pier in late 2020 as an example of white nationalists joining forces with MAGA activists to push the movement to take more radical positions. One of the participants in those rallies was America First Bruins founder Christian Secor, who goes on trial in June for assaulting law enforcement, obstruction of an official proceeding and breaching the Capitol in connection with his role in the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

“I have always been up front about what I believe in,” Sanchez wrote. “I am Catholic, a nationalist, and I am pro-white. People will always respect courage and honesty, and although a few people would disagree on some issues, the vast majority of people have been nothing but friendly. This video was taken shortly after the election of 2020 in the middle of the Stop the Steal movement. After Jan 6th, even the people who I argued and bantered within this video have since closed ranks with the rest of the right. We asserted ourselves, moved the Overton window, and have a leading role in the conservative coalition.”

Sanchez has made no attempt to downplay his white nationalist beliefs even while announcing his plans to tag along with the convoy. On Feb. 18, Sanchez posted a photo of himself posing with members of the now-defunct white supremacist group Rise Above Movement, expressing pride in his association with three men who are currently serving federal prison sentences for their role in perpetrating violence at the August 12, 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va.

READ: 'Freedom Convoy' ends in failure -- and heads back to Pennsylvania after less than a day: report

“I am proud to have known such men as Rob Rundo, Ben Daly, Tom and Michael,” Sanchez wrote. “We must never forget our political prisoners of RAM, jailed for daring to stand against Antifa. I will never apologize for being in this picture, or knowing these men.”

RAM members Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen received sentences ranging from 27 to 37 months for conspiracy to riot in 2019. Characterizing RAM as a “combat-ready, militant group that represented itself as part of the new nationalist and white supremacy movement,” the Justice Department said in a press release announcing sentencing that the three defendants “collectively pushed, punched, kicked, choked, head-butted, and otherwise assaulted several individuals, resulting in a riot” a the Unite the Right rally.

In another recent post, Sanchez expressed sympathy for Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber. Kaczynski, the eco-terrorist who is serving a life sentence for a murderous bombing campaign that spanned more than two decades, has become a hero to accelerationist white supremacists who want to hasten the collapse of society to achieve their political goals. In his recent post, Sanchez reported that Kaczynski had been diagnosed with cancer, adding, “#PrayForTed.”

Since the convoy’s departure from Adelanto, Calif. on Wednesday, Sanchez has been making frequent Telegram posts with video updates, photos of supportive crowds, and upbeat reports about restaurants and gas stations providing free food, drink and fuel to the travelers.

READ: Truck convoy leader 'has no idea where he is' and is 'driving in circles' around I-495: report

The convoy organizers’ disapproval of Sanchez’s presence came to light on Wednesday night when the official Telegram channel for the campaign posted a message stating, “It has come to our attention that there [are] some people using our posts and our images as their own for their personal gain. While some people may be independent journalists riding in the convoy, The People’s Convoy does not endorse nor support the views on their page. Also, when they ask for donations, know that they are going to their pockets, not in support of the convoy.”

The post then tagged Sanchez’s Telegram account, adding, “any and all views expressed on that page are strictly denounced by the People’s Convoy.”

Criticism of Sanchez was even more pointed in the comments under the post.

“We actually can show he’s been lying to ppl claiming to be raising money n gathering items for the convoy when in fact it was only for him n 5 friends to goto dc…n he’s a nazi little prick promotes harming others…oh yes we know who n what he is,” an admin with the handle DIESELPATRIOT1 wrote. “We’ve made it clear…. This isn’t n Airport no need to announce your departure… make sure you take the rest of the garbage with you.”

READ: Right-wing protest 'convoy' in Lansing MI leads to embarrassing outcome

But it was a video posted on Thursday afternoon by Washington Three Percenters leader Erik Rohde, who described himself as a consultant with the People’s Convoy, that ultimately prompted Sanchez’s departure. Rohde was featured in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the 2020 mockumentary by Sacha Baron Cohen. As depicted in the film, Rohde and his fellow Three Percenters were enjoying an anti-lockdown event when a bluegrass band stepped on stage and its singer started singing songs with lyrics like, “Obama, what we gotta do, inject him with the Wuhan flu.”

“Some of you might have seen me before,” Rohde said in his video on Thursday. “I was unfortunately featured in the latest Borat movie where I chased his ass off my stage.”

Moving on to the business at hand, Rohde suggested that anyone who saw Sanchez along the convoy route should “make him unwelcome.”

“Why I’m talking to you today is it has come to the attention of the organizers of the People’s Convoy that there is a semi-known fringe weirdo, a little Nazi piece of trash,” Rohde said.

Rohde’s denunciation appears to have prompted a change of heart from Sanchez, who had previously posted on Telegram: “I’m tired of self-proclaimed ‘revolutionaries’ on the internet telling people that protesting and networking with the conservative base is a waste of time, it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Sharing Rohde’s video, Sanchez suggested it was evidence of “how much of a disaster this is shaping up to be.”

Then, an hour later, he announced: “My crew and I are breaking off from the People’s Convoy. We have been threatened and slandered, and I cannot justify putting my team at unnecessary risk.”

Rohde ended his video by questioning whether Sanchez is a federal informant.

“Figure out what you’re doing man,” Rohde said. “Are you a fed? Are you a Nazi? I mean, a lot of us real patriots in the country, we’ve been talking about you the last couple days, and you’re 50-50 on the board. Half of ’em think you’re a fed trying to set up other Nazis and stuff. And half of ’em think you’re just a little man crush on those Aryan dudes.”

Singed by rejection, Sanchez suggested he has reached a similar conclusion about his accusers.

“This movement, which is filled with thousands of brave and dedicated Americans, is being led into the gaping maw of the Federal government by an incompetent team of grifters and bad actors.”