An Ypsilanti man was sentenced yesterday to one year in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing an illegal machinegun and aiding and abetting a convicted felon’s possession of a second illegal machinegun, announced United States Attorney Dawn Ison.
Joining Ison in the announcement was Josh Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Detroit Field Office.
United States District Judge Judith Levy sentenced Danny Jo Thompson, 30, after he pleaded guilty to building and possessing an illegal machinegun and to helping a convicted felon—Eric Allport—build and possess his own machinegun. Evidence showed that Thompson and Allport shared violent, anti-law enforcement beliefs, culminating in Allport shooting an FBI agent in October 2020: law enforcement found Allport’s fully automatic machinegun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his truck at the scene of the shootout.
Evidence showed that Thompson and Allport were self-identified Boogaloo adherents, a decentralized, primarily anti-government, anti-authority, anti-law enforcement movement. Thompson and Allport regularly and openly espoused violent, anti-law enforcement rhetoric. Allport specifically sent Thompson messages about his willingness and desire to shoot law-enforcement officers. At the same time that they shared these communications, Thompson built himself an illegal machinegun. And knowing that Allport was a felon—knowing that Allport wanted to shoot a law-enforcement officer—Thompson also bought the parts and helped Allport build his own machinegun.
On October 2, 2020, FBI agents attempted to arrest Allport on weapons charges. Allport pulled out a gun and started shooting at the agents, hitting one, and dying in the return fire. Allport’s machinegun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition—some in magazines taped together to allow for faster changing of magazines—were in his truck in the same parking lot as the shootout. Thompson’s violent, anti-law enforcement statements to Allport encouraged this outcome.
“This defendant armed Eric Allport, a felon, who repeatedly expressed his desire to commit violence against law enforcement—those who swore an oath to protect us,” said US Attorney Ison. “Allport later shot an FBI agent in a busy commercial parking lot. Anyone thinking about committing a violent act against law enforcement or arming someone else who commits such an act needs to know that we will prosecute you aggressively. Violence against our community or law enforcement will not be tolerated.”
“It is difficult to calculate the injury and loss of life that could have resulted from the use of these illegal machineguns in a confrontation with law enforcement. Fortunately, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to disrupt the threat posed by Thompson and Allport ,” said Josh P. Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Office. “Preventing gun violence is a top priority for the FBI and this investigation is an example of the kind of work we do every day to keep our communities safe.”
This investigation was led by FBI agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Moon.