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Press Release

Pasadena Man Who Allegedly Adheres to Extremist Anti-Government Ideology Charged in Federal Complaint with Possessing Machine Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – A Pasadena man who allegedly sympathizes with the anti-government extremist “Boogaloo” movement has been charged in a federal criminal complaint alleging he brandished a loaded “ghost gun” near a South Los Angeles high school late last year, the Justice Department announced today.

Isaac Aaron Morgan Loftus, 26, is charged with one count of possession of a machine gun, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Loftus, who has been in state custody since his arrest in late November 2022, is expected to make his initial appearance in United States District Court in the coming days.

According to an affidavit filed on January 23 with the complaint, around lunchtime on November 22, 2022, law enforcement received a call about an armed individual in the vicinity of Thomas Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles who was wearing a tactical vest and cargo pants. A witness told law enforcement that the individual – later identified as Loftus – had pointed a firearm at two passing motorists.

Loftus, who at first refused to obey multiple commands to stop and attempted to walk away from officers, eventually complied with officers’ requests, was detained and handcuffed and later arrested, the affidavit states.

Law enforcement allegedly removed a 9mm handgun with no serial number – commonly known as a “ghost gun” – one which contained one round in the chamber and six rounds in the magazine, from a holster on Loftus’s front right hip area. The holster was decorated with symbols commonly associated with the Boogaloo movement, according to the affidavit.

The “Boogaloos” are a loosely organized anti-government extremist movement whose adherents believe there will be a civil war or uprising against the United States government following perceived incursions on constitutional rights – including the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms – or other perceived government overreach.

On Loftus’s person, officers allegedly also recovered two heavy duty zip ties, a tactical plate carrier, a pocketknife with a three-inch blade, a black knife with a four-inch fixed blade, and two key fobs for a Honda Clarity that had been reported stolen from a car dealership earlier in the day. The Honda also had been involved in a hit-and-run accident that same day, located approximately five blocks from where Loftus was arrested.

Law enforcement searched the Honda and found a loaded 9mm “ghost gun” in the glove compartment and a toolbox containing the upper and lower receiver of a nearly 12-inch AR-style rifle, a drop-in auto sear – designed for converting a semiautomatic firearm into a fully automatic machine gun – dozens of rounds of various calibers of ammunition, approximately 23 magazines, and a silencer, according to the affidavit.

During a search of Loftus’s residence, law enforcement allegedly found firearms and firearms cases, dozens of additional auto sears, and a large U.S. flag with symbols consistent with the Boogaloo ideology.

Loftus is prohibited under California law from possessing firearms.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Los Angeles Police Department investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Kathrynne N. Seiden of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section is prosecuting this case.

Contact

Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov
(213) 894-4465

Updated January 26, 2023

Topic
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 23-015