LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley man associated with a racially motivated violent extremist group is expected to appear in federal court later today after being charged this morning in a criminal complaint with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
Ryan Scott Bradford, 34, of Reseda, was arrested at his residence Thursday and is expected to make his initial appearance this afternoon at United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
As alleged in the complaint, between 2021 and January 2023, Bradford posted online messages and photographs documenting his use of a 3-D printer to manufacture firearms, as well as calling for the mass murder of Jews.
During a search of Bradford’s residence yesterday, agents and officers with the FBI, the DEA and the LAPD recovered 116 rounds of ammunition, which Bradford is prohibited from possessing due to a 2012 burglary conviction; firearms parts – including two 3D printed auto sears and five “switches,” both of which are used to convert semi-automatic firearms into fully-automatic firearms; two 3D printers, one of which had swastikas painted on it; various Nazi propaganda; and an apparent improvised explosive device (IED). Following the discovery of the apparent IED yesterday morning, law enforcement temporarily shut down streets in the vicinity of Bradford’s residence.
“As alleged, this convicted felon affiliated with a violent white supremacist group who espouses horrific acts of violence against Jews appears to be manufacturing firearms and possessing an improvised explosive device,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “The potential danger to the community cannot be overstated. We will continue to investigate this matter to ensure that this defendant is held accountable for his crimes, and to keep our community safe from acts of violence motivated by racist and hateful ideology.”
“The defendant is a self-described anti-Semite associated with a white supremacist group which espouses the hatred of Jews and other minorities,” said Donald Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Hateful rhetoric that crosses the line into violence will get the attention of law enforcement and those who engage in such extremism will be held accountable should they act upon their violent rhetoric.”
“Dangerous individuals that conspire to distribute synthetic drugs, such as methamphetamine, are driving addiction and death in our communities,” said DEA Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner. “The interagency collaboration with our local and federal partners was instrumental in preventing further violence and harm in our neighborhoods.”
“The LAPD values the ongoing partnership with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in the pursuit of disrupting gun trafficking and the devastating impact these firearms have in our communities,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Michel R. Moore.
According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Bradford used an Amazon account with the username “Peck Erwood” with a woodpecker avatar. The woodpecker is a logo used by the San Fernando Valley Peckerwoods, a racially motivated violent extremist group based in Los Angeles County. The Peckerwoods originated in the California state prison system and its members have engaged in racially motivated violence, drug and illegal firearms trafficking, and fraud, according to the affidavit.
As alleged in the complaint, Bradford – using online usernames referencing the Peckerwoods – used messaging applications such as Telegram to post racist remarks against Jewish people, including calling for mass murder and genocide of Jews. Yesterday, law enforcement recovered from Bradford’s residence a calendar with a handwritten note stating: “New Year’s Resolution: Take over the world – save Aryan race *Bake every single Jew.*” Bradford also posted links and instruction manuals on Telegram concerning hand grenades, biological warfare, and the “Aryan Revolution,” and he offered to make firearms and firearm parts for others using 3-D printers, according to the complaint.
The affidavit further alleges that Bradford sent text messages in November 2022 to coordinate the distribution of methamphetamine and sent two photographs of methamphetamine to a buyer. The complaint alleges that he conspired with Kris Dean Drakakis, 42, another member of the Peckerwoods, who was indicted on June 30 on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; and being a felon in possession of ammunition. Drakakis has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has an August 22 trial date scheduled. He is in federal custody.
A criminal complaint contains allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted of the charges in the complaint, Bradford would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the drug conspiracy charge and up to 15 years in federal prison for the ammunition possession charge.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Reema El-Amamy of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section is prosecuting this case.