BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Tyngsborough police officer and a Chinese national were arrested Wednesday and charged with federal criminal firearms violations.
According to the charging documents, 36-year-old Tyngsboro Officer Daniel Whitman of Pelham, N.H., and 49-year-old Chinese national Bin Lu, were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to violate provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA) by making, possessing and failing to register short-barreled rifles, as well as possessing a suppressor without proper registration.
Whitman is currently a full-time police officer with the Tyngsborough Police Department. He is also the owner and principal manager of Hitman Firearms, LLC, a retail gun shop in Tyngsborough. Lu is listed on the FFL as a manager of Hitman Firearms, and is also an investor in the store.
According to the criminal complaint, Hitman Firearms does not possess the required license to manufacture, or NFA status to possess, firearms regulated by the NFA. Nevertheless, Whitman and Lu allegedly possessed and manufactured items that are covered by the NFA, including a short-barreled rifle and suppressor.
Whitman and Lu allegedly sought to build a large indoor shooting range, Freedom Alley Shooting Sports (FASS), which would serve regional and international customers, and offer shooting clinics and other services using funding from Chinese investors. Providing such trainings to foreign nationals requires a license from the U.S. Department of State, which Whitman and Lu never applied for nor received.
Tyngsboro Police Chief Richard Howe said Officer Whitman was placed on paid administrative leave in August 2019 as a result of this criminal investigation.
"On several occasions, Lu and Whitman did run firearms training camps, consisting of shooting and tactics trainings, for Chinese tourists," Leling said. "Providing such trainings to foreign nationals requires a license from the U.S. Department of State, which Whitman and Lu never applied for nor received."
Whitman's bond was set Wednesday at $20,000 unsecured, Lu's bond was set at $30,000 secured, and both men must surrender their passports.
The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
Tyngsboro Police Chief Howe said Officer Whitman will remain on paid administrative leave pending a review of the specific information and allegations included in the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Written by Brit Smith
(Photo: Getty Images)