Inter Ordnance charged, illegal importing, sales


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Night20
February 6, 2004, 02:51 AM
http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040206/APN/402060548&cachetime=5

Monroe-based gun dealers charged with illegal importing, sales

The Associated Press


A pair of gun-trading brothers face federal charges of illegally importing Russian and Soviet-made machine guns and selling thousands of the weapons across the country.

Oliver and Ulrich Wiegand are charged in an 83-count indictment with crimes including conspiracy, illegal importation of machine guns, illegal possession and transfer of machine guns, and money laundering.

Oliver, 37, and Ulrich, 34, are brothers and German nationals, federal authorities said Thursday. They operate Inter Ordnance, a gun dealership based in Monroe; the charges involve Inter Ordnance and businesses in Witten, Germany, and Ferlach, Austria.

The Wiegands, both of Indian Trail, "reaped a substantial financial profit" from the sales and used the money to "support their extravagant personal lifestyles," according to a federal grand jury indictment issued Tuesday and unsealed Thursday.

Charges against each brother carry maximum penalties totaling 960 years in prison.

"The illegal importation, possession, and transfer of fully automatic machine guns pose a serious risk to law enforcement and other citizens," said U.S. Attorney Bob Conrad.

Ulrich Wiegand was held after an appearance Thursday before a federal magistrate in Charlotte. Oliver Wiegand was believed to be out of the country.

"My client and his company have tried their best to comply with vague ATF guidelines," Oliver Wiegand's lawyer, Chris Fialko, said. "He denies any wrongdoing."

Ulrich Wiegand's attorney could not be reached for comment.

The indictment alleges the brothers concealed the illegal sales of machine guns by referring to them as "parts kits" - allowing them to evade tax payments, record-keeping requirements, and required background checks of potential customers.

Prosecutors said the brothers used their German and Austrian businesses to illegally import the guns, then sold more than 3,500 of them in parts kits by mail and Internet without background checks or recording ownership registration.

The indictment said the firearms were sold to customers in South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Arkansas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.

But, Fialko said, "The trade groups representing importers of destroyed gun parts kits for gun collectors have been for years asking for clearer guidelines as to how these guns should be cut up properly."

"It appears the ATF has decided to legislate by indictment, instead of issuing proper regulations," he said. "This will be a contest of expert witnesses at trial."

Ulrich Wiegand is also accused of directing Inter Ordnance employees to structure cash deposits into various bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid reporting requirements.

The brothers used Inter Ordnance bank accounts to transfer funds to various international accounts to conceal and disguise the company's profits, the indictment said.

Inter Ordnance's Web site tells customers it is a wholesale firearms distributor. The site offers items for sale including weapons and military gear such as a Belgian gas mask and reproductions of German World War II boots and helmets.

Information from: The Charlotte Observer

--------------------------------
The website the article refers to: http://www.interordnance.com/

Anyone purchased from these guys? Would it be safe to say that the paper trail could get a lot of buyers into serious trouble?

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WonderNine
February 6, 2004, 02:58 AM
Any chance this is related to those FAL parts kits that the ATF suddenly decided were "machine guns"?

:barf:

Night20
February 6, 2004, 03:12 AM
I didn't see anything FAL related on their site. Lots of Yugo, SKS, AK, ect though. The article sure sounds like the ATF has got a TON of charges on them.

Geech
February 6, 2004, 03:49 AM
The site offers items for sale including weapons and military gear such as a Belgian gas mask and reproductions of German World War II boots and helmets.

This proves that they're racist as well as criminals.

TCD
February 6, 2004, 06:27 AM
wow, I've been to that site before.....


Huh. will be interesting to see what happens.

GSB
February 6, 2004, 07:49 AM
"It appears the ATF has decided to legislate by indictment, instead of issuing proper regulations," he said. "This will be a contest of expert witnesses at trial."

I suspect the entire point of the exercise is NOT to issue clear regulations. Makes it easier to make a case when everyone is in violation of something if you squint just right.

Leatherneck
February 6, 2004, 07:53 AM
Huh. Stupid Germans--they thought this was the land of the free.

TC
TFL Survivor

edit to add: The "stupid" part is tongue-in-cheek folks...

railroader
February 6, 2004, 09:20 AM
http://www.atf.gov/press/fy04press/field/020504char_interordnance.htm Here's more from the ATF website. Mark

Daedalus
February 6, 2004, 09:29 AM
So are people who may have purchased items other than the PPSH 41, FN FAL IMBEL, and STEYR MP69 listed on the ATF page subject to investigation? Or just customers who purchased the parts kits listed?

Molon Labe
February 6, 2004, 09:49 AM
Some comments from IOA customers:

http://pub8.ezboard.com/fppsh41ppsh41forum.showMessage?topicID=204.topic

redhead
February 6, 2004, 09:50 AM
From the article:

The indictment alleges the brothers concealed the illegal sales of machine guns by referring to them as "parts kits" - allowing them to evade tax payments, record-keeping requirements, and required background checks of potential customers.

Wondernine says:

Any chance this is related to those FAL parts kits that the ATF suddenly decided were "machine guns"?

The article says that I/O sold "machine guns" by referring to them as "parts kits". Unless they were selling somethin' other than what we received in the mail, this is pretty deceptive. We got parts - the receiver was chopped up - saw cut, and as far as I'm concerned, was scrap metal.

My husband got a letter in the mail from the local BATFE agent, explaining that he was in possession of a "machine gun", subject to seizure and confiscation. :what: We surrendered the receiver stubs to the agent. I wondered at the time if we'd be seeing prosecution of the company.

glocksman
February 6, 2004, 10:40 AM
All I can say is thank God I only bought a M44 Nagant bolt action from them. :uhoh:

cordex
February 6, 2004, 10:49 AM
We got parts - the receiver was chopped up - saw cut, and as far as I'm concerned, was scrap metal.
Ah ... that's the sticky wicket.
"Saw cut".
The ATF usually requires that machine gun receivers be torch cut with a torch capable of removing a quarter inch of material along certain lines that they define. It doesn't matter if the receivers are unusable. All that matters is that you do what some bored clerk says you have to do.

But I'm still trying to figure out what these brothers did that was morally wrong.

They sold bits of scrap metal that was cut differently than the ATF wanted.
They made lots of money.
They deposited said monies in a manner consistant with regulations.
They enjoyed their earnings.

I'm supposed to be up in arms (or without arms, as the case may be, but angry none the less) because of these reasons?

Bill Hook
February 6, 2004, 12:14 PM
I think they may be getting the shaft, but it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Correia
February 6, 2004, 12:16 PM
Sounds like utter BS charges. I'm guessing redhead is right.

I love it though. They sent out chunks of chopped up scrap metal, so the news reports that they were smuggling machine guns.

Chuck Jennings
February 6, 2004, 12:50 PM
This seems more about somene at the ATF trying to have a career enhancing bust.


Unfortunately, a lot of administrative law is intentionally written vaguely so that bureaucrats can decide what is illgal or not. If we followed the slippery slope, in the future anything would be illegal.

They sold bits of scrap metal that was cut differently than the ATF wanted.
They made lots of money.
They deposited said monies in a manner consistant with regulations.
They enjoyed their earnings.

I'm supposed to be up in arms (or without arms, as the case may be, but angry none the less) because of these reasons?


Sounds like something right out of Atlas Shrugged! :cuss:

glocksman
February 6, 2004, 01:18 PM
The ATF regs are clear on that it has to be a torch cut with the torch set so that at least 1/4 inch of metal is removed.

Even I/O on their website states that saw cutting isn't acceptable.

From I/O's site:
DEFINITION OF A SPARE PARTS SET
A Spare Parts Set is a set of a MG (machine gun) or SMG (sub-machine gun) including the torch cut receiver.
The receiver is cut to BATF specification, which means that the receiver is cut to a specific BATF diagram.
Each cut is made with a cutting torch having a cutting tip of sufficient size to displace at least ¼ inch of material at each cut location.
A Spare Parts Set can be put together into a dummy gun only if you follow the directions given by BATF.
If you purchase a Spare Parts Set, we are happy to supply you with the letter given by BATF.
Otherwise, Spare Parts Set can only be used for repair and replacement of parts in a BATF registered Machine Gun.

Redhead says that their Ppsh was saw cut. That's a violation of the regulations. The regulations may be stupid, but you knowingly violate them at your peril.


As far as the bank account stuff goes, it sounds to me as if they were trying to dodge paying taxes on the money.

No matter how this turns out, as Bill Hook said, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

redhead
February 6, 2004, 01:27 PM
Redhead says that their Ppsh was saw cut. That's a violation of the regulations. The regulations may be stupid, but you knowingly violate them at your peril.

I have read on the FALfiles forum (the parts kit we had was for a FAL) regarding these kit seizures that the regulations were changed - saw cut was fine, then it wasn't. I/O had (so I read) demilled the receivers with a saw before the regs changed, then sold them.

Dorian
February 6, 2004, 01:42 PM
The illegal importation, possession, and transfer of fully automatic machine guns pose a serious risk to law enforcement and other citizens

:rolleyes:

El Rojo
February 6, 2004, 01:44 PM
Damn! I was going to make copies of my renewed C&R today and buy a German Mauser from them. Are they still in business? I guess I need to call them first and see what is happening. I really like their adds and their prices in Shotgun News and that is why I was going to go through them. Well hopefully they can still sell me a K98. I will buy one as part of their legal fund.

redhead
February 6, 2004, 01:56 PM
The illegal importation, possession, and transfer of fully automatic machine guns pose a serious risk to law enforcement and other citizens

Yeah. Machine gun. Ooookkkaay. After I read the letter from the BATFE agent stating that we were in possession of a machine gun (that is, once I started breathing again) - I hollered at my husband, "Honneee, did you buy a machine gun and forget to tell me about it?"

:barf:

Publicola
February 6, 2004, 02:33 PM
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch?

I've never done business with Inter Ordnance so I hope y'all are just ticked because they slighted y'all in soem business dealing.

But if you're saying that they're getting what they deserved because they didn't follow the gun gestapo's dictates to the letter then y'all have more serious issues to deal with.

First of all as some here have noticed, the paper refers to machine guns. That's cause the batf considers parts a machien gun whether they're assembled or not. In fact a receiver capable of accepting parts to enable automatic fire (which with the right machien skills would encompass ALL semi-automatic firearms) is considerd a machine gun in some cases even when the parts necessary to enable automatic fire are absent.

As to the saw cut v. torch cut nonsense, you have to follow the batf's "logic" to understand why it's a big deal. More or less if a fully qualified machinist with welding experience can take parts & assemble them into an operational machine gun in 1 working day (8 hours or so) they consider it easily convertable & thus a machine gun.

Just so you know, a fully qualified machinist can make the parts necessary to convert a Marlin Model 60 to full auto in less than a day. The batf hasn't started harping on that yet, but given the ridiculous nature of their "logic" in determining what constitutues a machine gun it wouldn't surprise me if they rounded up all semi-auto's one day on that very basis.

So if you're condemning I/O because they have alledgedly violated some batf regs, then you fail to understand that your condonement of those regs will hurt us all in the long run. The same logic used to justify conviction of a company selling unassembled & damaged parts can be used to prohibit sale & possession of any semi-auto. It's just a matter of time.

If I have ranted for nothing & they have engaged in shadey treatment of their customers, then give me the details. I still doubt any unfair trade justifies rooting for the bastards at batf, but I'm willing to listen.

glocksman
February 6, 2004, 02:58 PM
I ordered a M44 Nagant from their website and I paid them $20 extra for the 'cleaning service', so I wouldn't have to take the gun apart and clean the cosmoline out.

Apparently all they did was wipe it down with a solvent soaked rag. There was cosmoline under the stock and in the bolt assembly. I wound up stripping the gun down and cleaning out the cosmoline anyway.

Also, it was advertised as coming with an ammo pouch and accessories.

It came with them all right.

Too bad it was an AK-74 cleaning kit and AK mag pouch.
When I called up to ask what happened, some rude guy told me that it said in their ad that other accessories may be substituted and that it was my fault for not reading the ad closely.

I ordered it from the website, not a Shotgun News ad for starters, and there was no such disclaimer on the website.

Secondly, just what good is a 5.45mm AK 74 cleaning kit with a 7.62 rifle?


Like I said, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Correia
February 6, 2004, 03:20 PM
Glocksman, you've got me mixed up with somebody else. I never said it could have happened to a nicer bunch. I've never done any business with them at all.

Correia
February 6, 2004, 03:23 PM
And one other sucky thing. The under $10,000 to avoid reporting has nothing to do with tax evasion. If the IRS audits you they see all your bank records. The rule is stupid, and it is there supposedly to stop money laundering. What this does is create lots of stupid paperwork for any business, so many small businesses just choose to deposit less than 10 K at a time. It isn't illegal to deposit less than 10K at all, the news article just makes it sound that way.

The ATF is full of it. And the laws concerning parts kits don't make a lick of sense.

glocksman
February 6, 2004, 03:34 PM
My apologies.

It was Bill Hook who said it. I edited the post to reflect that.

Hkmp5sd
February 6, 2004, 04:11 PM
I've bought guns and accessories from them for years and have no complaints. If they didn't cut the receivers exactly to regulations, then give them a fine and get over it. They didn't sell functioning machineguns to anyone and no one, law enforcement or civilian, is at risk of being killed or dismembered by any of these parts kits.

And how exactly, did they manage to import and sell 3,500+ "machineguns", all duly listed in their records, before ATF noticed they were destroying the receivers incorrectly? Why is a chopped up piece of steel that was once a part for a machinegun considered to be a machinegun?

As a side note, I have also requested that my employer not deposit my weekly paycheck into the bank if it exceeds $10,000 as I do not want to have to have the government think I am an illegal arms dealer or drug smuggler. :rolleyes:

goalie
February 6, 2004, 04:37 PM
I think they may be getting the shaft, but it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

They always come for the unpopular or isolated ones first. If/when they come for you, will anyone care, or will someone just say "I think he may be getting the shaft, but it couldn't happen to a nicer guy?

Chuck Jennings
February 6, 2004, 04:47 PM
"We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."


--Ben Franklin

Bill Hook
February 6, 2004, 04:49 PM
I've ordered one item from them and ended up disputing it with the CC Co. after they took forever to resolve it on their own. I'm still within the 90 day window on the charge, so I have to see what BS they'll pull regarding restocking fees, etc.

You should check the C&R boards, like gunboards.com to get a feel for the regard in which they are held. They aren't the worst outfit out there, but saying they have an honesty problem is putting it mildly.

I think the BATF regs are bogus, so my focus is on them trying to evade the reporting requirements for their deposits, even if they did nothing illegal in making sub-$10K deposits. Not worthy of charges in itself, but worthy of an audit, then charges, if this was an attempt at tax-evasion, in spite of my contempt for the IRS, in particular, and taxes, in general.

BowStreetRunner
February 6, 2004, 06:00 PM
well hopefully the brothers have enough money to fight this instead to a fair conclusion........many people arrested by the ATF for something less dont have the money to defend themselves and get reailroaded.........if the bro's got the money and the case, they might be able to assert that the ATF is "legislating" from the executive branch by making rules without the approval of congress........but im not familiar with the rules that well so i cant say.........
BSR

GSB
February 6, 2004, 08:10 PM
As a side note, I have also requested that my employer not deposit my weekly paycheck into the bank if it exceeds $10,000

If this is a problem for you, let me know if there are any open positions. I can send you a resume tonight. :D

M1911Owner
February 7, 2004, 01:26 PM
In fact a receiver capable of accepting parts to enable automatic fire (which with the right machien skills would encompass ALL semi-automatic firearms) is considerd a machine gun in some cases even when the parts necessary to enable automatic fire are absent.(which with the right machining skills would encompass ALL blocks of steel larger than a certain minimum size)

TheOtherOne
February 8, 2004, 11:42 AM
In fact a receiver capable of accepting parts to enable automatic fire (which with the right machien skills would encompass ALL semi-automatic firearms) is considerd a machine gun in some cases even when the parts necessary to enable automatic fire are absent.(which with the right machining skills would encompass ALL blocks of steel larger than a certain minimum size)
In other words, if they want to bust you then they are going to bust you -- regardless of what you've really done.

Hkmp5sd
February 8, 2004, 11:57 AM
if they want to bust you then they are going to bust you
Yepper.

Glock-A-Roo
February 8, 2004, 05:02 PM
...deposits into various bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid reporting requirements.

Isn't this like getting ticketed for driving 53 mph in a 55 zone, since you were obviously driving under the limit to avoid... paying a fine for going over the limit?!?

BlkHawk73
February 8, 2004, 05:58 PM
Hey, if they broke the law, charge 'em and give 'em time. Or are we supposed to stand behind lawbreakers if they're gun dealers? As mentioned before, if the cut parts didn't meet regs, then like it or not, laws were broken. Period!

c_yeager
February 8, 2004, 06:30 PM
Isn't this like getting ticketed for driving 53 mph in a 55 zone, since you were obviously driving under the limit to avoid... paying a fine for going over the limit?!?

Well, its more like driving 53 in a 55 so the cops dont pull you over and find the body in your trunk. its not the deposits that are the problem its the tax evasion/illegal activities that the deposits are covering up that are the problem.

TheOtherOne
February 9, 2004, 07:33 AM
Hey, if they broke the law, charge 'em and give 'em time. Or are we supposed to stand behind lawbreakers if they're gun dealers?If the laws are illegal to begin with then which law breakers do you side with? BATFE or Inter Ordnance?

Hkmp5sd
February 21, 2004, 12:56 AM
Interordnance of America, L.P. and its two individual owners, Ulrich H. Wiegand and Oliver M. Wiegand, have been formally charged by the federal government for violations of federal firearms laws relating to the importation and sale of certain machine gun parts kits. Interordnance and the Wiegands deny each and every charge filed against them.

The charges arise after a two and one-half year investigation of Interordnance by BATF regarding the deactivation and resale of specific parts of PPSH-41, Fn FAL and MP-69 machine guns. During the investigation, BATF seized over two million dollars of inventory from Interordnance without providing Interordnance a meaningful avenue of recovery or response until now. Interordnance welcomes the opportunity to be able to finally respond to the federal government’s allegations.

Interordnance maintains that its actions regarding the importation and sale of the parts kits were at all times legal and in accordance with BATF regulations. Presently, none of the parts kits are offered by Interordnance pending resolution of the formal charges, even though similar parts kits can be found for legal sale by other firearms dealers.

Interordnance and its principal owners deny any wrongdoing. Interordnance stands by the legality of sale of all of its products.

Due to the pending litigation, Interordnance may not be able to respond to every customer inquiry regarding the allegations; though, Interordnance welcomes customer inquiry on any of its present product line. Interordnance thanks its customers for their continued support and looks forward to establishing its innocence with regard to the government’s allegations.

Interordnance Press Release 2/11/04 (http://www.interordnance.com/PressRelease.pdf)

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