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YouTuber arrested for video of helicopter firing fireworks at Lamborghini

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A YouTube star has been arrested and faces federal charges alleging he directed a video showing fireworks being fired from a helicopter at a Lamborghini in the desert outside Los Angeles last year.

The Justice Department alleges that 24-year-old Suk Min Choi, known as “Alex Choi,” a Los Angeles resident, shot the video titled “Destroying a Lamborghini with Fireworks.” The video shows two women in a helicopter repeatedly firing fireworks at the luxury car in San Bernardino County.

The helicopter was flying close to the ground and without the necessary permits, prosecutors said. In the video, Choi pressed a button to “fire missiles” while the women shot at the sports car, prosecutors said Thursday.

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YouTube star Alex Choi directed a video in which a helicopter fires fireworks at a Lamborghini sports car, federal prosecutors said. (Justice Department)

“After filming what appears to be a real-life version of a fictionalized video game scene, the video cuts to a behind-the-scenes look at how Choi shot the first third of the video. During this portion of the video, Choi allegedly makes multiple references to coordinating the filming,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

In the video, Choi thanked a camera company for being “part of my crazy, stupid ideas.” He also said that the group helping produce the film “messed up” at one point “because I forgot to explain to my friend how to use a flashlight,” authorities said.

Choi, who has 924,000 subscribers on YouTube and another 1.2 million on Instagram, stopped filming when someone asked him if they would do it again, authorities said.

“No, that's all. We don't have any fireworks left, do we?” he is said to have replied.

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Women shoot fireworks from a helicopter

Two women are seen firing fireworks from a helicopter. (Justice Department)

Choi is accused of ordering the placement of an explosive or incendiary device on board an aircraft.

The 11-minute video, which has been removed from his social media accounts, appears to show the helicopter pursuing the speeding vehicle while simultaneously firing the fireworks in its direction.

Authorities believe the footage was taken sometime in June 2023 on the dry lakebed of El Mirage Lake. Prosecutors said Choi never obtained a permit for the footage, including from the Federal Aviation Administration, and purchased the fireworks, which are illegal in California, in Nevada.

A screenshot of Alex Choi's video

A screenshot with the text “Directed by Alex Choi.” (Justice Department)

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If convicted, Choi faces ten years in a federal prison.