A California man accused of driving into a group of protesters over the summer allegedly used his family vineyard as a “tactical training camp” and a place to store his arsenal of weapons.
Benjamin Hung was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of conspiracy to transport firearms and making a false statement in acquisition of firearms, according to a statement from U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The 28-year-old was initially arrested on May 31 after he allegedly drove his Dodge Ram — at the time decorated with flags typically embraced by right-wing extremists and a license plate that read “WAR R1G” — into a crowd of demonstrators in Pasadena, according to a criminal complaint cited by NBC News.
The crowd of about 150 quickly scattered as the truck approached and no injuries were reported in connection with the incident, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint. They were chanting “Black Lives Matter” and gathered together to protest the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
Hung told authorities he felt threatened by the group after they allegedly began throwing objects at his car.
A search of his vehicle turned up a loaded Glock handgun, a 15-round magazine, a machete, an 18-inch metal pipe, a megaphone and $3,200 in cash.
Prosecutors have alleged Hung obtained the gun from a friend who bought it for him in Oregon and then helped him transport it to California. Upon purchasing the firearm, the friend claimed it was for him — not Hung — and then the pair developed a plan to bring it back across state lines.
Hung purchased at least three more firearms in Oregon in March and brought them back to California, prosecutors said.
According to the criminal complaint, Hung had been staying in San Marino near his family’s vineyard, which he turned into “tactical training camp” and shooting range to prepare for “civil disorders.”
In a text message cited in the complaint, Hung allegedly called the spot “our very own shoot house.”