Federal prosecutors say a Homer man illegally shipped several modified firearms with defaced serial numbers to New York. A New York grand jury indicted 25-year-old Benjamin Handley in late July on 15 counts of illegally shipping the weapons.
Handley allegedly mailed nine firearms that he is said to have illegally modified into “machineguns”, including a variety of 9 mm and .45 caliber pistols. Serial numbers on each of the guns were allegedly removed.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo, New York, Handley used the U.S. Postal Service to send the weapons. Charging documents say Handley mailed the firearms on four different occasions between February and late July.
Handley made his initial appearance in an Anchorage court Tuesday. He is being held without bail pending his arraignment in New York.
Prosecutors told the presiding judge that Handley allegedly directed his mother over the phone from jail to remove items from his truck and room, which they say could amount to destruction of evidence and obstructing justice.
Prosecutors also say Handley conducted business on the dark web and had the ability to obtain false identification, which they say adds to the likelihood of Handley fleeing.
Handley’s arraignment hearing in New York has not been scheduled.