A Queens man who allegedly had aspirations of joining the far-right group the Proud Boys was charged with a weapons offense Wednesday after his Tuesday arrest by the FBI turned up a stockpile of ammunition and deadly weapons.
During their search of Eduard Florea’s home Tuesday, the FBI allegedly “recovered approximately one-thousand .22 caliber Winchester hollow point rounds, 25 12-gauge Remington shotgun slug rounds, and one .300 caliber Winchester Magnum round,” according to a sworn affidavit and complaint against Florea. The FBI also allegedly recovered 75 combat knives and multiple swords and hatchets, the New York Times reported.
Both before and during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Florea, a software engineer by trade, posted threatening messages under the name “LoneWolfWar” on the far-right-friendly, recently-defunct social media site Parler. He admitted to police that he was the operator of the account and owner of the ammunition.
After the Georgia special Senate runoff election was called for Rev. Raphael Warnock, the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from the Deep South, Florea allegedly posted in response to another user that “dead men can’t pass shit laws,” the complaint said. And during the afternoon of Jan. 6, Florea allegedly posted a series of messages saying he and “cars of armed patriots” were “heading into DC from NY.”
“Guns cleaned loaded [sic]...got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy...we are just waiting for the word,” the messages said, according to the FBI. Florea’s lawyer reportedly argued at his bail hearing that Florea didn’t own a car and didn’t actually go to D.C.
Florea told police that he wanted to join the Proud Boys and had helped them vandalize a church, Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro said Wednesday, but that he hadn’t attended the number of meetings required to be an official member.
Florea was charged with being a felon in possession of illegal ammunition, as he had previously been convicted of a firearms-related felony in New York state, according to the complaint. He could face up to a decade in prison if convicted. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro said during the bail hearing that Florea “is particularly dangerous in the current political environment” and posed a flight risk, according to the Associated Press.
Gavin McInnes was a co-founder of VICE. He left the company in 2008 and has had no involvement since then. He later founded the Proud Boys in 2016.