Three foreign nationals are facing federal charges of smuggling banned weapons parts into the United States.
A federal grand jury in Rochester has indicted the three men, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., who announced the charges today at his office in the Kenneth B. Keating Federal Building on State Street.
Charged with conspiracy to smuggle Chinese-made 75-round capacity AK-47 rifle drum magazines into the U.S. are Gary Hyde, 41, and Paul Restorick, 61, both of the United Kingdom; and Karl Kleber, 56, of Portugal. They face up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
The indictment charges the men with conspiring to import more than 5,700 of the magazines from March to October 2008. Hyde, Kleber and Restorick are accused of negotiating a deal with a Chinese firearms manufacturer to make the magazines, while representing to the United States government at the time of importation that they were manufactured in Bulgaria. The magazines were imported into the United States through Amchar Wholesale Inc., a Chili firearms dealership owned by Anthony DiChario who maintains the parts appeared to be from Bulgaria.
Hochul said DiChario, who is not charged, has provided helpful information in the investigation.
Kleber is in custody in Rochester. Hochul said he was arrested several weeks ago at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. A hearing is scheduled for him for Feb. 9 before U.S. District Court Judge Jonathan W. Feldman.
Hochul said Hyde was recently arrested in Las Vegas near a gun show and is expected to be extradited to Rochester. Hochul said Restorick is not in the United States, but indicated he is in a country that has a treaty with the United States and would honor extradition requests.
“It’s not often you get a case involving so many countries ending up in Rochester,” Hochul said. “This was the end of the trail of an international investigation.”
Police in Frankfurt, Germany also assisted.
Hochul said the federal government strictly regulates the importation of arms, ammunition and the implements of war and the State Department maintains a list of countries — of which China is one — to which it denies the importation of defense articles.
Joining Hochul were Christopher Robinson, acting resident agent in charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Sherman and Charles E. Moynihan; and Nicholas J. DiNicola, assistant special agent in charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.