2024 Election

FBI Dragged Catholic Family From Home at Gunpoint Over 15-Year-Old Son’s Memes

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly used force to remove a traditionalist Catholic family from their home and place them in a locked van after their 15-year-old child posted “offensive memes” online.

The boy’s father alleged that his minor son had fallen into a trap set by the FBI as part of their exposed targeting of so-called “radical traditional Catholics.”

Debra Heine of American Greatness reported Tuesday that the Rufini family “was allegedly ‘dragged out of their home at gunpoint, handcuffed and locked in a van’ earlier this year.”

Heine also indicated that “the FBI’s aggressive ‘investigation’ only resulted in a misdemeanor conviction against the boy for breach of peace, but financially devastated the family with substantial legal expenses.”

The father of the family, Jeremiah Rufini, initiated a request on the Christian crowdfunding service GiveSendGo. There, he explained that his son, like his other children, was not “raised with cell phones or unrestricted internet access.”

“It became necessary for him to have a phone so we could communicate while he was alone at my father’s house caring for my grandmother, and so we reluctantly allowed him to have a cell phone,” Rufini explained.

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“He spent a lot of time alone with nothing to do but wait and think and the cell phone became a welcome distraction,” the father added. He said that the boy’s “interests in history and theology led him down a rabbit hole where he was recruited into group chats targeting teenage traditionalist Catholics with extreme political content.”

“We later learned that these chats were being closely monitored, and possibly operated by, FBI agents as part of an effort to investigate Traditional Catholics that was downstream of a broader domestic investigation spurred by the events of January 6th,” Rufini revealed.

The story is likely to generate speculation that the Bureau’s targeting of the boy is connected to the anti-Catholic Richmond memo, which was leaked by an FBI whistleblower earlier this year.

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“My son is very stoic so we had no idea any of this was occurring,” Rufini wrote. He explained that homeschooled minor was an altar boy and volunteer firefighter:

He dutifully assisted my father during the day and went home in the evening while I took over at my father’s house.

Unbeknownst to us, he was being drawn deeper and deeper into these chat groups and goaded into doing things like take pictures of himself in public wearing ski masks and to print out memes and leave them on picnic tables.

They would ask him if he had access to guns (he would go target shooting under the supervision of my brother, who lived in an in-law apartment at our home and owned firearms) and encourage him to sneak photographs of the guns and post them.

Ironically, our legal troubles began when he had an attack of conscience and abruptly deleted all of his chat apps. He later told us that he felt using social media was a coping mechanism and it had been affecting his mood and ability to sleep.

Rufini stated he was “not happy” with his son’s online conduct. He said that while he agrees the boy “showed a severe lack of judgment,” the FBI’s aggressive “response seemed very disproportionate.”

CatholicVote Vice President Joshua Mercer pointed out that it is not clear what exactly the FBI accused the boy of doing. “But unless he was engaging in real terroristic activities, there would seem to be no justification for sending FBI agents to SWAT-team the kid’s house,” Mercer said.

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According to Heine, the FBI eventually “lost interest in the case.” However, Rufini said the ensuing legal action cost his family “over $20,000 we don’t have so far.” The boy was “hospitalized on mental health pretenses.”

The father set $22,000 as his fundraising goal on GiveSendGo. As of Thursday afternoon, combined donations to the family have exceeded $31,000.

“We have reached our goal!” Rufini wrote in an update on the site:

We are overwhelmed by anyone’s generosity. The campaign has to run for five days on this platform but our losses were covered almost in the first day. Please do not feel obligated to continue donating, but anything we receive at this point will be reserved for the possibility of additional legal expenses. God bless all of you!

“I am incredibly humbled and speechless,” Rufini added Tuesday. “A day ago I was trying to figure out how to sell a 2001 Jetta parked in my lawn to catch up on my mortgage. We are incredibly blessed and moved and will pray for all of you.”

This is not the first instance of the FBI being suspected of “grooming” a teenage boy into radical activity only to later arrest him.

In June, 18-year-old Mateo Ventura was arrested “on charges he allegedly ran a gift-card reselling scheme aimed at raising money for the foreign terrorist organization ISIS,” Boston 25 News (a FOX affiliate) reported.

However, one week later, the left-wing news source The Intercept revealed that “according to the government’s own criminal complaint,” the Massachusetts teen “had never actually funded any terrorist group.”

The only “terrorist” he is accused of ever being in contact with was an undercover FBI agent who befriended him online as a 16-year-old, solicited small cash donations in the form of gift cards, and directed him not to tell anyone else about their intimate online relationship, including his family.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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