Michael Moura, 27, of Stoughton, was arrested at a Brockton mall on Wednesday after he allegedly paid an undercover FBI agent several hundred dollars for a Glock and AR-15 to defend himself from the Biden administration.
Unfortunately for Moura, the FBI had been playing him along for more than a year to see if he would actually pay for a gun, which he legally isn't supposed to own, since he'd pleaded guilty in April, 2020 to criminal harassment of his girlfriend - including cutting her car's brake lines while she was a concert in Worcester.
The maximum penalty for the charge was 2 1/2 years - enough to make it illegal under federal law for him to ever own a gun - although he was only sentenced to roughly six months in jail. He was out not long after his conviction because of the time he'd already served following his arrest in November, 2019.
In an affidavit, an FBI agent said the bureau had had its eyes on Moura even before that conviction, as part of its surveillance of local violent groups.
Most recently, Moura was a member of the Nationalist Social Club, whose purpose you can guess from its name. He had earlier helped found Resist Marxism, a precursor to Super Happy Fun America, one of whose leaders, Mark Sahady, now faces charges for his role in the failed Capitol putsch.
On June 27, 2020, Moura attended a "Back the Blue" rally at the State House (he's the one with his face covered entirely in black) with the Nazi group (which Sahady claims to not want at his rallies).
According to the affidavit, an undercover agent, identified as "UC1, " who "has been assigned to investigate groups that have professed a willingness to use violence to further their extremist and social ideology," and who claimed to be ex-military with access to guns, spoke to Moura last May about his desire to obtain a gun.
Only problem for Moura: Since he was only recently released from jail, he had no money to pay for the gun. Obliging FBI undercover agents then crafted a scheme in which they would pay Moura for transporting what they said was tens of thousands of dollars of counterfeit money, and that Moura agreed, claiming he really needed a gun because he and his girlfriend were moving to Fall River.
On Aug. 5, the affidavit continues, one of the agents gave Moura $60,000 in counterfeit bills, which he had to deliver from Andover to Albany, NY - where he was met by an agent who gave him $500 in payment. Before he could use that to buy a gun, though, he spent the money on other things, so the considerate agents offered him more courier jobs, for a total of $1,000 in credit towards a gun.
On March 18 of this year, Moura was given $100,000 in fake bills, to be driven from Saugus to Newport, RI. There, an undercover agent asked Moura about whether he wanted a new or used gun and noted that a new gun would cost more. Moura allegedly said he didn't care "as long as it doesn't jam on me."
On April 2, Moura got his second assignment: Move another $100,000 in counterfeit money from Newport to Brockton. A couple weeks later, an agent texted him and asked if he still wanted the gun, Moura said yes and arranged to meet with the agent to buy the gun at the same Brockton location - the Westgate Mall.
On April 20 and 21, Moura and the undercover agent exchanged texts to finalize the deal, now for a both a Glock handgun and an AR-15. The agent had a question for Moura:
UC4: On the AR do you want it to go pew pew pew. Or BRRRRRRRT.
Moura: the 15? Brrrrrt.
The affidavit helpfully translates:
Based on my training and experience, information provided to me by other investigators, and the context of these communications, I understand that when UC4 asked Moura whether Moura wanted the AR to go "pew pew pew" or "BRRRRRRRT," UC4 was asking whether Moura wanted a semi-automatic or a fully automatic weapon. I further understand that when Moura responded "brrrrrt" and "whatever sounds better lol," Moura showed that he understood UC4's question and wanted a fully automatic weapon."
Around 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Moura pulled into the mall parking lot, where the agent was waiting, and got into the agent's car and gave him $600, after which the agent gave him a black hockey bag with the two guns and ammunition in it. After putting the bag in his own car's back seat, he walked back to the agent's car and got in and they drove a short distance to an ATM.
As they drove, Moura told UC4 that he (Moura) was "trying to stockpile as much as I can because with this fucking administration you don't know what the fuck is going to happen. Moura continued, "I don't want to be on any kind of a list, you know what I mean, because when they try and confiscate guns, like, it's all these people."
At 8:52 a.m, as he got out of the agent's car, Moura found himself surrounded by FBI agents and police, who put him under arrest.
Complete FBI affidavit (15.7M PDF).