Acting United States Attorney W. Anders Folk today announced a federal criminal complaint charging MICHAEL PAUL DAHLAGER, 27, of St. Cloud, Minnesota, with illegal possession of a machine gun. DAHLAGER, who was taken into custody early this morning, made his initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson in U.S. District Court. DAHLAGER was ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing, which is scheduled for April 9, 2021.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, in November of 2020, the FBI initiated an investigation into DAHLAGER, a self-proclaimed member of the “Boogaloo Bois,” a loosely connected group of individuals who espouse violent anti-government sentiments. The term “Boogaloo” itself references an impending second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent uprisings against the government. In November 2020, the FBI learned through a confidential human source (“CHS”) that DAHLAGER was discussing his willingness to kill members of law enforcement. The FBI also learned that DAHLAGER was in possession of a 3D-printed “drop in auto sear” and a homemade firearm suppressor. An “auto sear” is a part designed and intended for use in converting a semi-automatic weapon to shoot automatically by a single pull of the trigger and is a machine gun under federal law.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, on November 21, 2020, while meeting with the CHS and others at his residence, DAHLAGER showed the CHS several tactical items including body armor, an AR-15 style assault rifle with a folding stock, and an item DAHLAGER claimed was a suppressor. The CHS observed loaded magazines for an assault rifle in DAHLAGER’s residence. DAHLAGER also showed the CHS two auto sears, which DAHLAGER said a friend had created using a 3D printer. DAHLAGER told the CHS that his residence has port-holes to make a stand if law enforcement confronts him.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, on December 12, 2020, DAHLAGER traveled from St. Cloud to conduct surveillance at the Minnesota State Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota, while attending a “Stop the Steal” rally. DAHLAGER scouted law enforcement numbers, over-watch positions for the Boogaloo Bois, quick reaction forces, and which streets were blocked by law enforcement. DAHLAGER made a video recording of his observations at the Minnesota State Capitol rally, which he later reviewed with the CHS.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, on January 10, 2020, the CHS approached DAHLAGER about obtaining an auto sear. DAHLAGER told the CHS he had several auto sears and was willing to provide one to the CHS. DAHLAGER told the CHS that he bought a cover for his suppressor to make the device appear to be a heat shield because DAHLAGER knew the suppressor was not legal. DAHLAGER also showed the CHS a video depicting DAHLAGER shooting what appeared to be the same rifle equipped with the same suppressor the CHS had seen in the PREMISES on November 21, 2020. On February 3, 2021, during a meeting at his residence, DAHLAGER provided two auto sears to the CHS and demonstrated how the devices should be inserted into a firearm.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter, and Trial Attorneys George Kraehe and Phil Viti of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
MICHAEL PAUL DAHLAGER, 27
St. Cloud, Minn.
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600