A Twin Cities man described by prosecutors as an anti-government militia sympathizer with a desire to kill Black activists and liberals has admitted to possessing a machine gun, a grenade launcher and illicit drugs in his home.
Darrian M. Nguyen, 50, of Anoka, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and illegal possession of a machine gun.
Nguyen, who remains held in federal custody without bail in the Sherburne County jail, now faces at least five years in prison and possibly up to 11¼ years, according to the plea agreement. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.
The plea deal signed by Nguyen includes him admitting that he "discussed an interest in a revolution or coup d'état."
Prosecutors said in their criminal complaint that a paid confidential source described Nguyen as "harboring anti-government Three Percenter ideology and desiring to be part of [that] militia group."
The source added 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, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They argue that the U.S. government is actively working to infringe on Americans' constitutional rights and liberties. Three Percenters engage in paramilitary training and organizing toward overthrowing the government, 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:
In April 2022, the source told the FBI that Nguyen kept rifles, shotguns, handguns, a grenade launcher and pipe bombs in his home.
Nguyen told the source he had a cache of "Last Stand Bullets," should he need them if cornered 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 home. 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.
The two met, and Nguyen received a machine gun and four auto sears. Nguyen was arrested immediately. Law enforcement located several firearms from a hidden room in his home. 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.