A San Marino man accused of intentionally driving his truck into a crowd of protesters in Pasadena in May has been charged with conspiring to violate firearms laws, U.S. prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Benjamin Jong Ren Hung, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of conspiracy to transport firearms across state lines and making a false statement in relation to the acquisition of firearms. According to the affidavit, Hung collected weapons and equipment from suppliers across the country and turned his family’s vineyard in Lodi into a training camp “to prepare to engage in civil disorders”
Pasadena police first arrested Hung on May 31 on suspicion of attempted assault with a deadly weapon after he intentionally drove into a crowd of protesters demonstrating against racial injustice in Old Town Pasadena, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint. People dispersed as the pickup neared and no injuries were reported.
The affidavit says that Hung’s truck was decorated with flags related to right-wing extremist groups.
Hung was not charged with attempted assault in relation to the incident, according to Ciaran McEvoy, a public information officer for the U.S. attorney’s office.
That same day, police searched Hung’s truck and found a loaded semiautomatic handgun, various loaded high-capacity magazines, an 18-inch machete, $3,200 in cash, a megaphone and a long metal pipe.
A friend purchased the firearm for Hung in Oregon and transported it to California, prosecutors claim. At the time, the affidavit alleges, Hung’s friend falsely represented that he was the transferee of the gun instead of Hung. Hung kept it at his home in San Marino, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, Hung in March bought at least three other firearms in Oregon and transported them to California. It states that he also collected other weapons and equipment from suppliers across the country.
Hung, who will remain detained pending a bail hearing Monday, faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison if convicted. An arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 15. It was not immediately clear who is representing Hung.