Social Media Influencer Alex Choi Charged With Federal Crimes Over Helicopter Fireworks Stunt

Alex Choi, a YouTuber with nearly 1 million subscribers, has been charged with federal crimes related to a 2023 video stunt involving a helicopter shooting fireworks at a Lamborghini. The 24-year-old influencer, whose real name is Suk Min Choi, faces charges for the placement of an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft.

The video, titled “Destroying a Lamborghini With Fireworks,” was posted last July and has since been taken down. In the nearly 11-minute video, Choi allegedly presses a “fire missiles” button while two women in a helicopter shoot fireworks at a Lamborghini sports car. The stunt is believed to have been filmed on the El Mirage Dry Lakebed in San Bernardino County.

A federal criminal affidavit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California details Choi’s alleged involvement in coordinating and directing the shoot. Text messages and emails cited in the affidavit reveal Choi’s plans for the video, including having someone in the helicopter shoot fireworks back at him while he tried to dodge them in the car.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the case along with the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation. If convicted, Choi could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Radar data from the day of the video shoot shows that the helicopter left an airport in Pacoima, California, and turned off its transponder before reappearing and flying back to the airport later that evening. The pilot’s private pilot certification was revoked by the FAA earlier this year.