Ross Farca was in court in Oakland on Friday for a status hearing on his federal felony charge.
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Hopkins, said her office presented a plea deal to the 24-year-old, who faces a mountain of legal jeopardy both in U.S. District Court and in Contra Costa County. Farca’s team did not say whether his client would accept the deal, which would apply only to a felony charge stemming from an allegation he lied to join the U.S. Army in 2017.
Of greater concern to many in the Bay Area Jewish community are state charges facing Farca in Contra Costa County. Police arrested him in June at his Concord home after he allegedly threatened a mass shooting against Jews on a gaming website. Screenshots of posts on the networking site Steam dated June 4 show an account linked to the username “Adolf Hitler (((6 MILLION)))” threatening to attack “high value” Jewish targets.
“What do you think of me doing what [Poway shooter] John Earnest tried to do, but with a Nazi uniform…and actually livestreaming it with Nazi music?” a post said.
According to police, a search of Farca’s home at the time of his arrest turned up a semi-automatic weapon, 13 rifle magazines, “paper gun targets (one used and one fresh),” and “books about Hitler youth and Nazi life.” He was charged in Contra Costa County with two felony weapons charges and one count of making criminal threats. Those charges remain pending as the federal case unfolds.
After his second arrest federal Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim denied bail. Soon after, Superior Court Judge Theresa Canepa revoked bail in Contra Costa County. As a result, Farca will remain in custody through the resolution of both criminal matters.
U.S. marshals led Farca, shaggy-haired and wearing a beard, into the courtroom just before 10 a.m. Friday. He wore glasses and baggy red prison scrubs with “Alameda County Jail” printed on the back. He turned his head periodically, as if to check who was in the courtroom.
At the hearing, which lasted under five minutes, Judge Jon S. Tigar extended the amount of time available to both sides for discovery, or the evidence-gathering process.
The U.S. attorney said the government was in an ongoing process of “reviewing computers and cellphones” and other evidence. Court filings show Concord police seized a host of electronics, including two laptops, a computer tower and a cellphone, from Farca’s home while executing a search warrant on June 10.
The federal felony charge stems from an incident in 2017, when investigators say the then-21-year-old lied to the government at an Army recruiting center on the Peninsula. Despite having a long history of psychiatric treatment dating to 2012, Farca allegedly did not notify Army recruiters on an intake form. He was subsequently sent to basic training at Fort Benning Georgia for about five weeks before being arrested for assault, and discharged.
Farca’s lawyers have said that their client has autism, although his full psychiatric record was redacted in the federal complaint. Autism is not known to increase violent behavior. Farca’s lawyers have asked his medical record be entered into evidence.
The next status hearing on the federal charge is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 13 in Courtroom 6 in Oakland.