RENO, NV - A Reno man has been indicted on federal charges after allegedly selling machine guns to undercover police from California.
James Harwin was in federal court in Reno Friday afternoon, charged with illegal trafficking of automatic weapons. He's also accused of having an unregistered weapon and obliterating serial numbers from the weapons he sold. Detectives say he had $100,000 cash on him when he was arrested Thursday.
Harwin is the owner of Safe Shot, an indoor range in south Reno, and he has guns at home. The judge told him he doesn't want him anywhere near guns, so he needs to stay in jail until his next hearing next week.
So this weekend, his lawyers need to clear his home of weapons, and he's not allowed to step foot in his own business for the time being.
Here is the full release from the Department of Justice 6/4/2014:
A federally-licensed firearms dealer and owner of an indoor shooting range in Reno, Nev., was indicted today by the federal grand jury on charges that he unlawfully sold multiple firearms, including guns with obliterated serial numbers and machine guns, to undercover ATF agents at his business in April and May 2014, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada and Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Federally licensed firearms dealers are entrusted to uphold federal laws pertaining to the importation, manufacture and sales of firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We will be especially vigilant in our investigations and prosecutions of firearm dealers who consciously choose to violate these laws.”
James David Harwin, 59, of Reno, is charged in a six-count federal indictment with one count of illegal sale by a federally licensed dealer to an out-of-state resident, one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated, removed or altered serial number, three counts of transfer of a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act, and one count of obliteration, alteration, or removal of the serial number of a firearm. Harwin, who was previously charged by criminal complaint, is currently in federal custody, and is scheduled for an arraignment and plea on June 12, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on the illegal sale charge and up to 10 years in prison on each of the other five counts, as well as fines of up to $250,000 on each count.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint and indictment, James Harwin and Safe Shot LLC possessed a Federal Firearms License to manufacture and sell firearms. Safe Shot LLC did business as the Safe Shot Indoor Shooting Range, located at 9425 Double R Boulevard in Reno. On or about April 17, 2014, Harwin unlawfully sold four handguns to two undercover ATF agents who told Harwin they were residents of Sacramento, Calif. One of the handguns had an obliterated serial number. On May 2, 2014, Harwin sold a machine gun with an obliterated serial number to the undercover ATF agents, and on May 29, 2014, Harwin unlawfully sold a Street Sweeper shotgun and three machine guns to the undercover agents. Harwin removed the serial numbers on one of the machine guns in the presence of the undercover agents.
“ATF is charged with ensuring compliance of all applicable laws and regulations as it relates to licensed federal firearms dealers,” said Special Agent in Charge Riehl. “We will aggressively pursue those individuals, including federally licensed dealers who try to circumvent and violate the federal firearms laws, in an effort to protect the public and prevent unlawful machine guns and other firearms from getting into the hands of criminals.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Rachow and investigated by ATF.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.