Gilroy resident Alan Viarengo, who taught math at Gavilan College for nearly 20 years, was arrested last week on suspicion of stalking and threatening Santa Clara County’s chief public health officer. Police say he also has ties to the anti-government domestic terrorist group known as “Boogaloo.”
When Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies culminated a lengthy investigation on Aug. 27 by serving a warrant at Viarengo’s Gilroy home, they found 138 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives, authorities announced today in a press release.
Viarengo, 55, faces two felony counts related to numerous threatening, harassing and offensive letters he sent to county Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody since she first instituted shelter-in-place orders this past spring in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office charged Viarengo with stalking by repeated following or malicious harassing, and threatening a public employee.
The charges are related to what the Sheriff’s Office incident report described as Viarengo’s “relentless and repeated” letters to Cody expressing his displeasure with her pandemic strategy and what he saw as government overreach.
Starting in early April, authorities say Viarengo sent a total of 24 anonymous, hand-written letters to Cody at her county office in San Jose.
The profanity-laced letters became “increasingly aggressive, offensive and threatening,” according to the sheriff’s incident report. They also became increasingly specific about Cody’s personal information—including her home address.
Police say the first missive, received at Cody’s office on April 9, featured a sketch of a hand with the middle finger extended. The letter reportedly included degrading names directed toward Cody, expressed anti-China sentiments, mocked law enforcement and vowed to disobey the health order, per the sheriff’s report.
“We are stronger than you pigs in every way,” Viarengo allegedly wrote in his first letter to Dr. Cody this past spring.
Authorities say Cody began receiving threats and harassing communications from numerous people after enacting the shelter-in-place order on March 16. The threats became so frequent that the county assigned a 24-hour security detail to guard Cody.
Investigators began to notice that some of the threatening letters fit an ongoing pattern and seemed to be sent by a single person, later determined to be Viarengo.
“There is a major difference in expressing disagreement with a public official’s decisions and making criminal threats,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said today in an emailed statement to this news organization. “We will prosecute anyone who crosses that line and tries to terrorize people who are simply doing their jobs.”
Viarengo remains in custody at the San Jose Main Jail and, according to the court calendar, was scheduled today for an arraignment.
Little is known about Viarengo except that he taught math part-time since 2001 at Gavilan College and worked at Nordic Naturals in Watsonville at the time of his arrest.
It appears that he would often write letters-to-the-editor that were published in the Gilroy Dispatch and Morgan Hill Times (San Jose Inside’s sister publications).
In his most recent letter, which was published in the July 31 issue of the Dispatch, Viarengo criticized Santa Clara County’s handling of the pandemic and the prolonged closure of indoor businesses and public gatherings.
In the early stages of the sheriff’s investigation into the letters targeting Cody, officials say fingerprints and DNA samples pulled from some of the correspondence did not match anyone in the criminal database.
Cody told investigators that with each letter, she did not feel an immediate threat. However, she became increasingly concerned as the letter-writer began to mention more details about her personal life.
“I’m glad that you are getting threats,” Viarengo allegedly wrote Cody in a June 22 letter. “I posted your residence address everywhere I could; I hope someone follows through!”
The June letter and subsequent letters from Viarengo also displayed an image of an igloo and the phrase, “Let’s Boogie”—both tell-tale signs of adherence to the “Boogaloo” or “Boogaloo Boys” movement, sheriff’s officials say.
The incident report describes the Boogaloo movement as a “loosely organized American far-right anti-government, anti-police, pro-gun extremist movement (whose members) often identify as libertarian. Participants say they are preparing for … American Civil War, which they call Boogaloo. The term Boogaloo can also refer to violent uprisings against the federal government or left-wing political opponents, often anticipated to follow government confiscation of firearms.”
The FBI has classified Boogaloo as a domestic terrorist group.
In a July 7 letter to Dr. Cody, Viarengo allegedly spelled out his agenda as follows:
1) Enable the violent to carry out their missions by revealing the home addresses of public officials and their families. (Yours was put on every social media site possible).
2) Plant the seeds of social unrest into the minds of the violent. When the protests against (the) George Floyd murder began, my words alone caused at least five officials to be attacked.
3) Regularly remind everyone that (1) the Constitution is not suspended during times of crisis and (2) your silly little ‘orders’ are not enforceable by law; and
4) Subversively spread defiance to authority, particularly contempt for courts and law enforcement, to make their jobs more difficult. In turn, they react in a more fascist way, which creates a snowball effect.
Viarengo owned 11 registered shotguns and one handgun, according to investigators. His wife owns one registered handgun, the sheriff’s report says.
Recent high-profile incidents of alleged Boogaloo activity include the May 29 murder of federal security officer David Underwood in Oakland and the June 6 murder of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller in Ben Lomond.
Active Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo is the suspect in custody for both of those murders, and investigators have found evidence that Carrillo is tied to the Boogaloo movement.
Detectives caught a potential ID on Cody’s alleged harasser on June 23, when the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office sent out an “officer safety bulletin” warning law enforcement officers about a Gilroy resident named Alan Viarengo.
Investigators say they confirmed that Viarengo sent a “disturbing” letter to Gutzwiller’s widow. The letter mocked Gutzwiller’s death and wished a similar fate upon more law enforcement officers, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. Detectives located Viarengo’s fingerprint on the letter to Gutzwiller’s widow.
The sheriff’s report adds that Viarengo’s history of harassing public officials dates back to the early 1990s, when he was convicted of sending threatening letters to police in Nevada. His conviction in that case was later reversed.
Based on the Santa Cruz County law enforcement bulletin, Santa Clara County investigators began surveillance on Viarengo.
On July 29, investigators followed Viarengo as he traveled from his Gilroy home to his workplace in Watsonville in his black Tesla. During the lunch hour, Viarengo drove from his work to the Watsonville post office, where a detective watched him drop off a letter.
Investigators immediately recovered the correspondence, which they say contained numerous similarities to previous letters sent to Cody. Similarities that allegedly included the use of the Boogaloo imagery and phrases, handwriting style, incorrect use of ellipses and frequent “profane and misogynistic” language.
Gavilan College Superintendent Kathleen Rose said in a letter to faculty and students that a new instructor has been assigned to Viarengo’s class. She declined to share more about his employment status, citing employee confidentiality.
Rose assured that the “serious” charges are being addressed by the justice system.
“The charges are not related to this individual’s work at Gavilan College, and the alleged actions leading to the charges are not alleged to have occurred at the college,” she wrote. “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.”
Rose ended her letter by asking Gavilan’s faculty and students “withhold judgment while the legal system does its work.”
Erik Chalhoub contributed to this report.
Cheap and baseless charge by the power abusing DA. This is obviously coordinated with the new DNC narrative that its actually Trump supporters burning down LA, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, and that place in Wisconsin. All an elaborate well orchestrated right wing conspiracy.
I truly feel for you people. Is your world so fragile that you need these little affirmations? Do you truly believe BLM and Antifa are not burning down building with people locked inside, pulling people out of cars and beating them after they are unconscious, blindside bricking old men and cops? For three months now?
Do you really need to bring these empty charges on this guy to make it feel like it really is “both sides” or are you further down the rabbit hole that all of this make believe or on orders from Putin?
I always considered Bay Area Progressives to be the smartest apples in the barrel, and perhaps you are the most educated. But you have really painted yourselves in a corner here and you think you are 100% right and 100% winning. And you also think Antifa and BLM are on your side, I would not be so sure.
Might this be the start of the roundup of the math-abled by progressive proponents of the economically-impossible Green New Deal?
> Police say he also has ties to the anti-government domestic terrorist group known as “Boogaloo.”
Oh, and in case you missed it, Sam Liccardo has ties to the anti-constitutional government domestic terrorist group known as “Black Lives Matter” which has ties to Karl Marx who wrote manifestos on how to destroy capitalist economies and western civilization.
I know Alan and was a past recipient of his threatening mail. I thought he had changed, but he only became more aggressive. He sent vile hate mail to the recent widow of a slain police officer …who was murdered by Air Force Boogaloo follower Steven Carrillo. Anyone defending him is nuts…
No one is defending his actions. You are missing the propaganda that is playing out here. Threatening notes are not direct threats. Mean emails are not murder either. Had this person made direct threats, charges should have been brought then. This is a way to get the media to pick up a story as part of a data point to Biden’s new explanation of the violence in the steets.
The position of the Democratic Party was the mostly peaceful protests did not exist. Who says protests have to be polite, right? But then Trump made up 10+ points, it was clear a new narrative needed to be written. So now the story is yes there is violence, but its Trump supporters doing it. Surprise, out of no where we have PhD dissertations on the menacing threat of Bugalo thats been around since 2019, or whatever, but Antifa which was burning down Portland and other cities during the #notmypresident riots back in 2016 is a myth that no one has an evidence of.
So while I am sorry you got nasty mail, no one should have to deal with that your circumstances are incidental to what political hack DA Rosen is doing here. Had he cared about you, he would have done it then.
138 firearms and 13 were registered?
I have not read the notes so I do not know if they would be criminal. Certainly they are annoying and posting the residence address is harassment. Look what happened at the Mayor’s house.
It sounds like he needs mental health care and something to occupy his free time.
Kulak, how do you know that no direct threats were made? Do you have access to all the letters this alleged terrorist from Gavilan College sent to the victim?
You are also twisting things around, bringing up Biden, protests, blah, blah blah. Staying on point, this alleged terrorist from Gavilan College was angry about shutdowns due to public health concerns. To me, the behavior described in the article does tend toward terrorist, especially if he’s doxxing the public official. That just sucks, and if it ain’t illegal, maybe there outta be a law…
threatening is a fudge word to seem like direct threats
The profanity-laced letters became “increasingly aggressive, offensive and threatening,”
If direct threat were made, they would have stated that.
If threatening is the standard the sheriff should track down all the comment writers of the threatening notes the recent Ms Nordland drama Ms Wadsworth chronicled so throuoghly.
You want doxxing to be a crime, your progressive comrades in arms will fill the prisons. But I thought we were trying to defund the police and tear down the prisons?
Oh and SCC Resident, after you go lock up a bunch of blue check “journey” who have been doxing people for four years, you can move on to those that have made profanity laced threats to YOUR President.
Actor Robert De Niro has repeatedly expressed a desire to physically assault Mr. Trump. A month before Mr. Trump was elected, Mr. De Niro said of him, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Later, Mr. De Niro doubled down with a series of “F– Trump” outbursts.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, just hours after she was sworn in, said a rally that she had promised her young son that “we’re going to impeach the motherf–-r.”
Madonna told a large crowd outside the White House that she had thought of blowing it up.
Kathy Griffin issued a video where she held up a bloody facsimile of a decapitated Trump head.
Snoop Dogg : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2017/03/16/of-course-snoop-dogg-has-the-right-to-depict-trumps-assassination/
In response to a Instagram post erroneously claiming that Iran has offered an $80 million bounty on Trump after the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the George Lopez wrote, “We’ll do it for half.”
“Sorry everyone,” Larry Wilmore said. “I don’t want to give him any more oxygen. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. I mean it literally. Somebody get me the pillow they used to kill [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia and I’ll do it — I’ll do it!” he said, then demonstrated.
Speaking of Trump Mr. Biden huffed, “They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the Hell out of him.”
More Threatening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSnTTND0UcM
Profanity, threats, threatening : zero arrests.
This back and forth politicizing is so entertaining to read. It eventually ends up causing me to yawn from the waste of time it creates. But being STAUNCHLY independent allows me to look at it all from the “inside out”. Going from “left to right” and back and forth……in all my years, I have never seen an elected president spoken of with so much hate. But this didn’t start with Trump. It started out somewhat small when the Left had Nixon and Watergate. Back to the Right against Carter. Then left vs. Ronnie “Ray-Gun” and Bush I, then Right with Clinton and Monica (which begat Fox News) and then the Left vs. “Dubya”. Obama had the Right against him, albeit much more “under the table” and “whispered” by those who feared backlash for voicing their opinions “on-stage”. One only had to see Fox News during those years vs. CNN over the last 3+. This ever-expanding chasm of political discord and discontent is not “all your own fault”. You have been influenced by outside entities and elite controlled media brainwashing you to these new heights of malicious, hateful behavior. Think back to the Vietnam War protests. If it wasn’t for the visually graphic un-deserving deaths coming from a little box in your house with a verbal “talking head” explanation of its “wrongs” we still might have thought it was the “right thing to do”. Fast forward 50 years and what’s changed? People are even more brainwashed by the “boob-tube” and even more biased “talking heads” than ever. Except now the cameraman is US. The cellphone is the camera and the media “washes” the submitted video to what THEY want you to see based on their motives. Just try watching a foreign news channel for a few hours, you will see what I mean.
As for the outside “entities”, it’s no secret from experts on Russia that the “Bear” wanted Trump, but most don’t know they wanted Bernie in 2020. Now why would that be….well far right (Trump) to FAR LEFT (like explained above) would be the best for any enemy seeking more power and less from their rival. Widen the “chasm” even more. Why? Because now people are becoming more focused on spewing their political hate than than being productive, economically helping, workers. They now, burn cities instead of improving them, they kill because they disagree, and on and on. But let’s not leave out the “Panda” for they certainly don’t like Trump to the point that they, ahem, let out a “little problem” to de-stabilize the economic giant “in the room” which could stop them from continuing their “stealing of the world’s” money let alone the increasing focus on revolting against their own political system.
Wake up you Trump and Biden haters. The enemy is not them it’s the real enemies, the ones that “Make You Hate”.