This article originally appeared on VICE News.
A self-proclaimed “psychedelic Nazi” with an LSD habit and suspected ties to a violent neo-Nazi group was arrested last week on federal gun charges.
Andrew Jon Thomasberg, 21, of McLean, Virginia, is accused of improperly buying an AK-47 through the gunsmith where he worked, lying on his federal background check forms, and owning guns despite having a penchant for LSD. At the time of the AK-47 purchase, in October 2017, Thomasberg owned three or four guns, and tended to carry a handgun on his person, according to court documents.
The affidavit was surfaced Thursday by freelance journalist and extremism expert Nick Martin.
The FBI tapped the phone of someone identified as “B.B.”, an associate of Thomasberg’s, and monitored text and phone conversations between the two men. In one group chat involving B.B., Thomasberg regularly discussed his weapons. “TFW you’re carrying enough gear and supplies to set the new high score, and wouldn’t want to have to explain that to a cop,” he texted his friends in June.
The “high score” reference is how violent far-right extremists talk about killing as many people as possible during mass shootings. The FBI also concluded from their investigation that Thomasberg and B.B. had associations with white supremacist groups and the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen. Formed in 2015, Atomwaffen has been linked to at least five killings across three states in the U.S. and are known for their extreme paramilitary tactics and rhetoric.
Starting from about October 2018, the FBI chronicled Thomasberg’s discussions about drugs and drug use.
“Yo,” Thomasberg texted B.B. “I’m gonna start trippin’ again.”
“Shrooms?” B.B. replied. “LSD?”
“Sid,” Thomasberg wrote (“Sid” is a slang term for LSD). “I feel the calling to start tripping again. I just can’t go balls deep like i did last time. Space it out like every month or so. Not every week.
The next month, Thomasberg again texted B.B. “I have extra btc [bitcoin],” he wrote. “Are there any substances youd like to try.”
He follows up. “There’s nothing more aryan than ethneogenic drug use,” he wrote. “Drug addiction is untermensch.” “Untermensch” is a Nazi Germany term that means “racially inferior.”
B.B. doesn’t seem convinced. “That’s debatable,” B.B. wrote. “But I still have a bunch of shrooms anyway.”
Thomasberg then starts to wax lyrical. “Literally since the dawn of time we’ve been harnessing the power of nature and fruits to expand our consciousness,” he wrote to B.B. “Better understanding our world and universe, creating tech and our environments to our likeness.”
“It’s amazing how acid opens your eyes,” he added.
In the weeks and months following, Thomasberg and B.B. had extensive conversations about what types of LSD they were planning to buy, as well as buying THC cartridges for their vapes. In another group chat conversation in November 2018, Thomasberg whined about how his opium hadn’t arrived yet.
Thomasberg is not the first alleged Atomwaffen sympathizer to end up in the feds’ clutches. The FBI arrested a suspected member of an Atomwaffen affiliate two months ago in Las Vegas, also on federal gun charges. The arrestee in that case was suspected of plotting to bomb synagogues and LGBTQ nightclubs.
Cover: In this photo provided by the New York City Police Department, a fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle lie against a railing of a home in the Staten Island borough of New York, Friday, August 14, 2015. (New York City Police Department via AP)