A Palm Springs Unified School District patrol officer who is set to be arraigned Monday on charges related to an investigation into domestic extremism by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force is no longer employed by the district.
Joan Boiko, a spokeswoman for the district, confirmed that Alfredo Luna Jr.’s employment with PSUSD ended on April 7, though she declined to say if he resigned or was fired.
According to documents filed in Riverside County Superior Court, Luna, 41, was arrested on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, after a prior search of his home turned up an unregistered assault rifle. District officials said he had been placed on paid administrative leave shortly after his arrest.
Authorities alleged that Luna, who also previously worked as a Cathedral City police officer, was an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory and a right-wing militia group.
He was taken into custody near the PSUSD building on District Drive and booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning before being released the following day after posting $250,000 bail.
According to the arrest warrant, when authorities searched Luna’s home, they found an unregistered Smith and Wesson rifle under his bed.
Investigators stated that when they questioned Luna about the gun, he said he had bought it from a former coworker at the Cathedral City Police Department during his time there, but could not remember the seller’s name.
Authorities also seized six other guns registered to Luna in accordance with a temporary gun and ammunition restraining order authorities had obtained against him.
John Candias, a detective with the Rialto Police Department and member of the FBI-JTTF-Riverside, wrote in a declaration in support of the arrest warrant that Luna admitted to being an “adherent to the Qanon conspirator movement and the three-percenter (3%) militia group” while being interviewed during the search.
Both groups have been linked to the riots at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, though it was not alleged that Luna was involved in that action.
Candias goes on to write that Luna is a “former US Marine and fully capable of inflicting lethal violence.”
In addition, the arrest warrant states that Luna had been “posting messages and images of his discontent for government officials and advocates others to carry out violence” on social media and that his “behavior is consistent with pre-incident indicators of extreme violence.”
Exactly what was contained in the posts was not specified.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office charged Luna with one felony count of possessing an assault weapon on Jan. 19. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Luna had passed a background check before being hired as a patrol officer with PSUSD in the summer of 2020, the department announced back in February.
Luna was hired on as a police officer with the Cathedral City Police Department in February 2006, but was terminated from that job in January 2019 due to “misconduct,” a department official said.
The official confirmed an internal investigation found that he falsified his time card, but that it was not the reason he was terminated.
Luna has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County.