Man who drove truck through George Floyd protest crowd pleads guilty to gun charges

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Handcuffs are shown in this file photo. (Getty Images)

Handcuffs are shown in this file photo. (Getty Images)

A California man who drove a pickup truck through a Southern California crowd peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal firearms crimes.

Benjamin Jong Ren Hung, 28, of San Marino entered pleas to 11 felonies, including conspiracy, transporting and receiving firearms across state lines, making false statements during purchases of firearms, and possession of unregistered firearms.

He could face nearly three years in federal prison when he is sentenced in August.

The case centered on an illegally obtained handgun that Hung brought with him to a May 31, 2020, counter-protest in neighboring Pasadena. Hung accelerated a flag-draped pickup truck with vanity license plates reading “WAR R1G” toward the intersection where protesters were gathered, authorities alleged.

He sounded a train horn installed on the truck, stopped and then continued through the intersection, causing the truck to produce excessive exhaust in a technique called “coal rolling,” authorities said.

No one was hurt, and Hung wasn’t charged with assault.

However, Pasadena police detained Hung, and the FBI took over the investigation.

In a plea agreement, Hung acknowledged participating in a multiyear conspiracy to make false statements to firearms dealers in Oregon and to illegally take the firearms to California, evading registration laws. He gave cash to a co-conspirator in Oregon to buy handguns for him and to falsely state that the co-conspirator was the buyer. The co-conspirator then delivered the guns to Hung in California.

Prosecutors said Hung also admitted falsely attesting to firearms dealers in Washington that he was a resident of that state in order to buy four rifles and a shotgun in March 2020, and also to illegally taking the guns to California.

Hung acknowledged possessing three unregistered short-barreled semiautomatic rifles that were seized from his family’s home in Lodi in September 2020.

Prosecutors said Hung used his family’s vineyard in Lodi as a training camp and gun range “to prepare for civil disorders,” according to the criminal complaint.

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