An East Patchogue man, who ran a Bohemia gun shop, faces up to 25 years in prison after police found hundreds of weapons, including a submachine gun, in his garage, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Thursday.
Brian Andersen, 67, is charged with 16 counts of criminal possession of a weapon, as well as a count of criminal possession of stolen property under a grand jury indictment.
"After a seven-month investigation, there is ample evidence the defendant, Brian Andersen, purchased and possessed a number of illegal weapons including illegal machine guns, unregistered automatic and semi-automatic handguns and a stolen firearm," Spota said in a released statement.
Andersen purchased a fully-automatic machine gun from an undercover detective for $75 last fall, Spota said.
The .38-caliber revolver used by a Farmingville man to upon members of the DA's Heroin Task Force last summer during a drug sting at a Holbrook gas station was at one point listed in the inventory of Andersen's gun store, "Guns & Ammo," which is now closed, Spota said.
During a press conference Thursday in Hauppauge, Spota said that when police questioned Andersen as to how that revolver got in the hands of Nicholas Hansen, who is charged with attempted murder of a police officer, Andersen denied selling the gun to Hansen.
"He basically said the gun must have been stolen from my shop," Spota said. "Do we believe that? Absolutely not."
Detectives discovered about 300 weapons and ammunition in the unlocked garage of Andersen's East Patchogue home, Spota said.
"We were stunned to find the defendant carelessly storing hundreds of lethal weapons and ammo in the loft of his unlocked garage," he said. "It is not unreasonable to wonder what could have happened if a mischievous teenager simply opened the door and found what we found."
Of the weapons found, 10 were unregistered handguns (possession of 10 or more of these guns is a class B felony). Police also recovered an illegal submachine gun and seven stolen guns from the garage, Spota said.
Andersen, who was arrested in November and has pleaded not guilty, is currently free on $100,000 bail.