A Twin Cities man described by prosecutors as an anti-government militia sympathizer with a desire to kill Black activists and liberals was arrested and charged with possessing a machine gun, a grenade launcher and illicit drugs in his home.
Darrian M. Nguyen, 50, of Anoka, was charged this week in U.S. District Court with possession of a machine gun and an unregistered firearm, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Nguyen remains in federal custody without bail in the Sherburne County jail ahead of a court appearance on Friday. A message was left Thursday with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.
Prosecutors say in their criminal complaint that a paid confidential source, who has known Nguyen for several years, described him as "harboring anti-government Three Percenter ideology and desiring to be part of [that] militia group."
The source added, according to the complaint, that Nguyen had a Three Percenters flag in his garage and discussed a desire to kill liberals by blowing them up or doing the same to members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Three Percenters took form in 2008 and often draw parallels between the U.S. government today and the British government in the 1700s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They argue that the U.S. government is tyrannical and actively working to infringe on Americans' constitutional rights and liberties.
They believe a small force of armed individuals can overthrow a tyrannical government, and many Three Percenters engage in paramilitary training and organizing toward that end, the law center's description noted.
Several Three Percenter adherents were charged for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Also, two suspected Three Percenter sympathizers were convicted in August of plotting to abduct Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, in 2020.
According to court documents and a law enforcement affidavit filed in Nguyen's case:
The FBI began investigating Nguyen in April, when the source told the agency that Nguyen kept rifles, shotguns, handguns, a grenade launcher and pipe bombs in secret rooms built in his home.
Nguyen told the source he had a cache of "Last Stand Bullets," should he need them if backed into a corner by law enforcement. Nguyen said the bullets had hollow points containing mercury, and would release infectious gases when shot.
During a text message exchange in August after the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's residence in Mar-a-Lago, Nguyen sent the source a Facebook link for an anti-FBI video from a conspiracy theorist and prominent Trump supporter not named in the complaint.
Nguyen's text with the video included: "It's time, the hour has come." The source met with Nguyen two weeks later and asked what he meant by that, and he replied, "We should put [sic] a revolution."
The affidavit further alleged that Nguyen was manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine from his residence. In August, the source bought meth from Nguyen for $300.
In an attempt to collect a debt of $9,000, two guns and drugs, Nguyen asked the source to supply him with a short-barreled rifle equipped with an auto sear. This is a device that turns a gun into an automatic weapon that can fire multiple rounds with one squeeze of the trigger.
The two met on Tuesday, and Nguyen received a machine gun and four auto sears. Nguyen was arrested immediately, and a law enforcement searched his home, where several firearms were seized from a hidden room. Among the weapons recovered were an AR-style gun equipped with a grenade launcher and a short-barreled shotgun.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.