FREE! Subscribe to News Fetch, THE daily wine industry briefing - Click Here


SPONSORED BY:

CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO

epic AD final

Click ad, above, to see how corks with TCA above 0.5 ppt can be removed from production.

Commerce7Click to learn more

Wine’s best known right-wing extremist among FBI’s record number of domestic terror arrests

This is the redacted version of a 2,638-word premium Wine Executive News article.

Premium Subscribers can go directly to the premium version by logging in Here:

Not a Wine Executive News subscriber?

Subscribe to Wine Executive News now, and get the rest of this original article along with everything else on the site every day, including original documents, spreadsheets,and source materials for just $29.99 per month or $209 per year

NOTE: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet … etc” — as used below — is known as “Greeking-in” text. It’s used here to indicate the length of text that has been redacted from the premium version.


Screen-Shot-2020-09-24-at-6.50.26-AM-e1600955530506

Benjamin Jong Ren Hung

Domestic terrorism cases soared to an all-time high in 2020, including wine’s best-known right-wing extremist, Benjamin Jong Ren Hung who, according to the FBI, used his family’s Lodi-area vineyard as a militia-style firearms training camp — complete with human target mannequins — to prepare for engaging in violent civil disorders.

As reported by Wine Industry Insight on Sept. 24, 2020, Hung was initially arrested May 31, by Pasadena, Calif. police after he drove his jacked-up Dodge Ram pickup into a crowd of Black Lives Matters protestors. Among those barely avoiding injury were two undercover police officers.

(Video of incident, below, may be preceded by an advertisement )
Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 1.25.08 PMhttps://abc7.com/video/embed/?pid=6634062

Rolling Coal

The cloud of black smoke from Hung’s Dodge Ram comes from a practice called “rolling coal” and is designed to be noxious to those nearby and make it hard for them to breathe. It’s a favorite tactic exercised against bicyclists, pedestrians, Prius and Tesla drivers, and protestors in an ongoing culture war waged by right-wing drivers of diesel pickups. Rolling coal is created by illegal modifications to truck emission controls.

Hung’s Pre-Trial Release

On Nov. 20, 2020, Hung, a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of San Marino, was released by  the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Western Division) on $10 million bond secured mostly by trust deeds on a portion of his family’s substantial real estate holdings. He has also been required to wear a location monitoring bracelet, and is restricted from leaving his residence from 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Hung is scheduled to stand trial in federal court on June 22.

NOTE: As seen in places below, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet … etc.” is known as “Greeking-in” text.  It’s used here to indicate the length of text that has been redacted from the 2,638-word premium Wine Executive News article..

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

 

FBI: Hung Believed in QAnon Assertions About Fake COVID Pandemic and Other Extreme Right-Wing Conspiracies

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

70,000+ Rounds of Ammo + Armory of weapons and illegal modifications

Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 1.32.10 PM

Hung Not Taken Seriously by Lawyers and Media before Pre-Capitol Insurrection

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Now: New Urgency, more intense scrutiny “We  are absolutely looking…”

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Declaration of FBI Special Agent Diamond Outlaw

The text that follows is the entire affidavit presented at Benjamin Hung’s detention hearing.

The agent’s exact text is presented in black. Annotations added by Wine Industry Insight are in dark reddish brown. For reference and comparison the entire affidavit from court records is at this link.


 

I, Diamond Outlaw, declare as follows:

1. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). I have knowledge of the facts set forth herein and could and would testify to those facts fully and truthfully if called and sworn as a witness.

Passenger in Hung’s War R1G Truck Turns Confidential Witness (CW-1)

2. On or about October 5, 2020, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

[Note: Hung’s truck carried an Oregon license plate; WAR R1G with the “i” replaced by the numeral “1.” The FBI agent’s affidavit consistently uses the “i” instead of “1,” so this is the only correction Wine Industry Insight will make about that.]

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Fuck you! I will kill you!

CW-1 said that when they came upon groups of protestors downtown, defendant [Hung] would scream at them, “Fuck you!” and “I will kill you!” and then coal-roll them before driving away to confront a new group.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

From inside the truck, Hung’s wife uses his cell phone to video the attack on Pasadena Protestors

3. I reviewed a video seized from defendant’s cell phone pursuant to a federal search warrant. The video appears to have been taken by defendant’s wife during their encounter with protestors in Pasadena, California, on the afternoon of May 31, 2020.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Hung lies to police about start of the Pasadena Incident

4. I reviewed body camera footage taken by Pasadena Police Department police officers following their detention of defendant on May 31, 2020.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

According to witness interviews conducted by other FBI Special Agents and photographs provided by other FBI Special Agents, the Sephora store where defendant and his wife said they were shopping has been closed and boarded up due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 and was closed on May 31,
2020.

Hung lies to police again. Denies truck is his

5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Quick-draw Hung

6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

WAR R1G is “National Icon?” Hung is “some kind of Greek god of a patriot”

7. I reviewed text messages seized from defendant’s cell phone pursuant to a federal search warrant.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Neighbors ready to “fight the full civil war”

Defendant wrote that the neighbors were “ready to fight the full civil war if need be.”
8. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Confidential Witness #1 Acts As Straw Gun Buyer for Hung

9. During his October 5, 2020 interview, CW-1 said that he bought a Glock 26 as well as a Glock 43 for defendant on December 26, 2017, and then transported both firearms across state lines for defendant the next week, delivering them to defendant’s “training grounds” at his family’s vineyard in Lodi, California.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

 

The 17 Firearms, 70,000  rounds of ammunition, tactical assault equipment including body armor, tactical assault equipment including body armor, silencers &scopes.

10. On September 23, 2020, FBI Special Agents executed search warrants at defendant’s house and his family’s vineyard in Lodi, California. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

11. I reviewed the below photograph [previous photo displayed above] seized from defendant’s cell phone pursuant to a federal search warrant. The photograph appears to have been taken at defendant’s house in April 2020 and shows some (but not all) of the items agents later seized.

Modified AR-15s and assault rifles

12. According to a Special Agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), on or about October 23, 2020, the ATF Special Agent examined the firearms seized from the house and vineyard in Lodi, California in this case, and determined that three of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifles seized from defendant’s house had been modified into short-barreled rifles, possession of which is prohibited under federal law, and three of the rifles seized from the vineyard had been modified and qualified as assault rifles, possession of which is prohibited under California law.

Missing weapons

13. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

$28,500 spent on tactical gear and ammunition: Most of it while out on bail for Pasadena Protest Incident

14. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

COVID-19 Health restrictions were actually a plot by the government to “control us.” — Hung

15. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

defendant would assert that health restrictions ostensibly due to COVID-19 were actually a plot by the government to “control us,” that
the government was purposefully allowing civil unrest as a pretext to use the military to take away guns and other freedoms from citizens, and that they needed to be ready when things got out of hand.

Shooters of the Nest

16. I reviewed the following text messages seized from defendant’s cell phone pursuant to a federal search warrant, sent to members of a group chat called “Shooters of the Nest”:

(1) Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

(2) on September 6, 2020, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

(3) on September 10, 2020, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

(4) on September 11, 2020, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

“Antifa worst nightmare . can you imagine Antifa rolling up in Lodi thinking its sweet and the King Bernardo hunts you down.” Defendant replied, “no fly zone where things magically disappear or become grape fertilizer.”

“I will be death from the shadows… scum will pray for a quick death” — Hung

17. I reviewed the following message seized from defendant’s cell phone pursuant to a federal search warrant, which defendant appears to have sent to himself on August 22, 2020, describing what he would do if the “mob” came through his neighborhood:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

These scum are a lethal disease to the future prosperity and well being of our children. We will eradicate them accordingly.

Drug Use by “the boys.”

18. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
19.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Hung’s wife lied about firearms

20. Based on my discussions with other FBI Special Agents who interviewed defendant’s wife, I know that when agents asked her if defendant owned any firearms, she initially said that he did not.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 12.15.36 PM