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Inter Ordnance charged, illegal importing, sales

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Night20, Feb 6, 2004.

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  1. Night20

    Night20 Member

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    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?
     
  2. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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

    :barf:
     
  3. Night20

    Night20 Member

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    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.
     
  4. Geech

    Geech Member

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

    TCD Member

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    wow, I've been to that site before.....


    Huh. will be interesting to see what happens.
     
  6. GSB

    GSB Member

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    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.
     
  7. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    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...
     
  8. railroader

    railroader Member

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  9. Daedalus

    Daedalus Member

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    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?
     
  10. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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  11. redhead

    redhead Member

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    From the article:

    Wondernine says:

    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.
     
  12. glocksman

    glocksman Member

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    All I can say is thank God I only bought a M44 Nagant bolt action from them. :uhoh:
     
  13. cordex

    cordex Member

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    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?
     
  14. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    I think they may be getting the shaft, but it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.
     
  15. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  16. Chuck Jennings

    Chuck Jennings Member

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    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.

    Sounds like something right out of Atlas Shrugged! :cuss:
     
  17. glocksman

    glocksman Member

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    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:
    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2004
  18. redhead

    redhead Member

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    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.
     
  19. Dorian

    Dorian Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
  20. El Rojo

    El Rojo Member

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    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.
     
  21. redhead

    redhead Member

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    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:
     
  22. Publicola

    Publicola Member

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    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.
     
  23. glocksman

    glocksman Member

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    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.
     
  24. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  25. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
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