FBI arrests trans woman with 28 guns for posting antisemitic threats

FBI agents found 12 handguns, 16 rifles, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.


A Eugene, Ore. federal grand jury on Friday indicted Elizabeth Ballesteros West, a 56-year-old transgender woman from Cottage Grove, Ore., for threatening violence against Jews, black people, and immigrants, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced on Friday.

The defendant is charged with a count of transmitting an interstate threat, according to the attorney’s office, which noted that the FBI had received an anonymous tip in September that West threatened coworkers on Facebook.

In November, the FBI found out that West was allegedly using an X account “to post and repost memes, videos and statements containing violent messages targeting black and Jewish people and immigrants.”

“Several of West’s posts included what appeared to be self-produced photos of firearms, including several handguns, a shotgun, and an AR-style assault rifle,” according to the attorney’s office. “On Jan. 3, 2023, West admitted to posting and reposting messages on X that contained hateful and violent rhetoric. West also admitted to possessing multiple shotguns and AR-15 assault rifles at her Cottage Grove residence.”

West allegedly posted, “I’m too old to keep looking for jobs, and I’ve had it up to here being bullied by trans phobic [expletive] I am left with no alternative,” and “I’ll probably have to go out in a blaze of glory,” per Fox News, citing the affidavit. “So there really isn’t any point living anymore? I’m just gonna have to do what I have to do and pray for the gods to forgive me.”

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Per the affidavit, West also posted on social media in support of Hitler, and “has mixed feelings about Nazi sentiments,” and “on the climate in Israel,” West “feels Jewish people treat Palestinians in the same manner as the Nazis treated the Jews. West is also angry that immigrants come to the United States and receive welfare and food stamps on her tax dollars, yet she is unable to access the same benefits.”

A bio of West’s also allegedly stated, “A Nazi dominatrix from hell, who is tired of the blackening of America and Europe and ready to stand up to the black orcs and the Jewish Wizards.” (The orc reference appeared to apply a racist interpretation to characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy books.)

When the FBI executed a search warrant on Jan. 9, agents found “12 handguns, 16 rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition and firearm accessories and a journal that appeared to contain writings and drawings that included additional hateful and violent statements,” according to the attorney’s office.

FBI agents arrested West on Jan. 12.