A Pasadena man who allegedly sympathizes with an anti-government extremist movement has been charged in a federal criminal complaint alleging that he brandished a loaded ghost gun near a South Los Angeles high school late last year, the United States Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Isaac Aaron Morgan Loftus, 26, is charged with one count of possession of a machine gun, a felony offense that carries a sentence of up to years in federal prison, according to the DOJ.
Loftus, who has been in state custody since his arrest in November, is expected to make his initial appearance in Los Angeles federal court in the coming days.
It was not immediately known if Loftus had an attorney.
According to an affidavit filed on Monday with the complaint, law enforcement received a call at around lunchtime on November 22 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, according to the DOJ.
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, that contained one round in the chamber and six rounds in the magazine, from a holster on Loftus’ front right hip area. The holster was decorated with symbols commonly associated with the Boogaloo movement, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states that Loftus told the officers who arrested him that he was named “Yahweh” — Hebrew for God — and they would “be dead” if they continued to question him. After he was arrested and in custody, he spontaneously told officers that “judgment day has been delayed,” according to the sworn affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Geoffrey Colvin.
Loftus is prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of having been declared a danger to himself and others in 2016, the document says.
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 and other perceived government overreach, prosecutors said.
On Loftus’ 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 about five blocks from where Loftus was arrested, according to the DOJ.
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 semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic machine gun, dozens of rounds of various calibers of ammunition, roughly 23 magazineand a silencer, according to the affidavit.
During a search of Loftus’ 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, court papers show.
Court papers show that in December 2016, Loftus was placed on a mental health hold under California Welfare Institutions Code and was deemed a danger to himself or others or gravely disabled. Loftus incurred a lifetime prohibition on firearms as a result.