Federal authorities have arrested and charged a Tyngsborough police officer and a Westford resident with firearms violations.
Daniel Whitman, 36, of Pelham, New Hampshire, and Bin Lu, 49, a Chinese national living in Westford, were charged Jan. 6 by criminal complaint.
Whitman and Lu are charged with conspiracy to violate provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA) by making, possessing and failing to register short-barreled rifles, as well as possessing a suppressor without proper registration.
The defendants were set to appear the same day in federal court in Boston.
Lu is listed as a manager of Hitman Firearms and is also an investor in the store, according to the press release.
Attempts to reach representatives at Hitman Firearms were unsuccessful.
Federal prosecutors allege that that Lu and Whitman sought to build a large indoor shooting range — Freedom Alley Shooting Sports.
Allegedly, the site would serve regional and international customers, and offer shooting clinics and other services using funding from Chinese investors.
On several occasions, Lu and Whitman allegedly oversaw firearms training camps, consisting of shooting and tactics trainings, for Chinese tourists.
Providing such trainings to foreign nationals requires a license from the U.S. Department of State, which Whitman and Lu never applied for nor received, the press release said.
Whitman and others allegedly recorded videos on a YouTube channel operated by Lu that promotes Hitman Firearms, Freedom Ally Shooting Sports, and the training camps.
According to the criminal complaint, Hitman Firearms does not possess the required license to manufacture, or National Firearms Act status to possess, firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act.
Whitman and Lu allegedly possessed and manufactured items that are covered by the National Firearms Act, including a short-barreled rifle and suppressor.
A search of Hitman Firearms led to a complete CMMG MK9 rifle found in the store, the press release said.
The shop's acquisition and disposition record indicated that the rifle was acquired from another store in March 2016 as a lower receiver only, the press release said.
The investigation determined that the seized firearm is an SBR since it has an 8.625 riffle barrel and a collapsible stock. It is alleged that neither Whiteman nor Lu registered the firearm properly, the press release said.
During the search, Lu arrived at the shop and gave federal agents permission to search the vehicle he was driving, the press release said.
The vehicle contained several firearms including a SIG Sauer MCX with a folding stock attached. The shop's records indicated that the firearm was acquired from another store as a pistol.
However, at the time it was recovered from Lu's vehicle, the firearm allegedly had a stock attached to the rear, which made the weapon into a rifle
The firearm was never registered properly, the press release said. During the the search, Lu allegedly said "Dan" put the stock on the end — allegedly making the pistol into a rifle.
The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 fine.
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