Southington man, believed to be assembling, selling 'ghost guns,' seeking bond reduction

Published on Thursday, 6 December 2018 17:10
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI

@muszynskiBP

SOUTHINGTON - A local man found with two assault rifles, a handgun without a permit and 29 high capacity magazines, following a search of his apartment and a local storage unit last month, is looking to get his bond reduced.

Hao Quac Lam, 24, of 35 Darling St., Apt. Q, was arrested Nov. 20 after local police, state police, the area SWAT team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms searched his apartment, following up on an anonymous tip that led them to believe someone was trying to sell an assault rifle.

Upon discovering the guns and numerous high capacity magazines, state prosecutors said they believe Lam is bringing in parts of guns from out of state and using them to assemble assault rifles with no serial numbers - also known as ghost guns - in his apartment and selling them over the Internet. A ghost gun, prosecutor have said, is “virtually untraceable.”

Lam appeared Thursday, in Bristol Superior Court, where a judge said he would listen to his attorney’s arguments for a bond reduction at his next court date, on Jan. 3. Lam has been held on $1 million bond since his arraignment Nov. 21.

“I will entertain a bond argument on that day,” Judge John Cronan said.

During the hearing, state prosecutors said Lam’s attorney has been provided discovery and will be able to view all the evidence prosecutors have against his client.

Lam faces one count of possession of a handgun without a permit, two counts of possession of an assault weapon and 29 counts of possession of a high capacity magazine. He did not enter a plea on Thursday.

Prior to the search on Nov. 20, police wrote in their report, Lam was patted down in the parking lot of his apartment and found in possession of a Sig Sauer handgun, three fully loaded magazines and $20,952 in his pocket. Lam, according to police, admitted that he owned six rifles and brought police to a storage unit on Spring Street, where he said they were located. Lam, the report said, told officers the cash he had was his life savings, as he doesn’t trust banks, and that he makes money by selling things online.

Police said the storage unit contained a short barreled “AR-15 type” weapon without a stock or a serial number and another gun that was later determined to fit the state’s criteria for an assault weapon.  Inside the unit, police also found two 12 gauge shotguns, two .22 caliber rifles and a 7.62 mm rifle. These weapons were registered to Lam. Police said they also seized “assorted calibers of ammunition,” 11 high capacity magazines, two boxes and two belts of shotgun shells and four .22 caliber magazines.

Lam’s apartment also had four incomplete assault rifle lower receiver parts, five semi automatic handguns, two tasers, body armor, “assorted high capacity magazines” for handguns, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, a drill press  and tools that were used to build firearms.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Thursday, 6 December 2018 17:10. Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2018 17:12.