Three South Baltimore men were arrested last night in connection with what authorities described as a major ring trafficking in machine guns.
Arthur Nelson Reid, 26, and David Daniel Granger, 25, both of the 3700 block of Everett St. and Alonzo Roy Carle, 22, of the first block of Bristol Ave. were arrested between 6 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. after a nearly yearlong investigation by agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Anne Arundel County and Baltimore police, said Stewart Allen, special agent in charge of the Maryland and Delaware offices of the bureau.
Reid and Carle were arrested outside a car that was stopped by county police in the 6600 block of Ritchie Highway near the Motor Vehicle Administration building in Glen Burnie, and Granger was arrested at his home, authorities said.
All were arrested without incident. More arrests were expected, Allen said.
Allen said the three men were charged with conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture, possess or transfer machine guns, possession of firearms with obliterated serial numbers and receiving or possessing a destructive device.
They were being held at the Central Booking and Intake Center in Baltimore and were to appear today before a U.S. District Court magistrate for a preliminary hearing.
Each could be sentenced to 30 years in prison if convicted, authorities said.
Allen and Anne Arundel Police Chief Larry W. Tolliver said the investigation began after a motorist was stopped for a minor traffic violation near Annapolis in September 1996. After learning that the car's tags had been stolen, police summoned a dog trained to detect narcotics.
The dog led police to $6,800 in cash that had residue from narcotics, Allen and Tolliver said. The motorist was arrested.
Allen declined to identify the motorist last night but said he was not one of the three men charged. Asked about the motorist's whereabouts, Allen said, "He's in limbo right now."
For several months after the arrest, undercover officers purchased 12 fully automatic SKS 7.62 rifles, magazines for the bullets, about 2,000 rounds of ammunition and a pipe bomb at several locations, authorities said.
Each rifle had been altered to fire automatically and was capable of firing several hundred rounds per minute, Allen said. The serial numbers on each rifle had been obliterated.
After arresting the three men yesterday, authorities served a search-and-seizure warrant at the Everett Street house, where they reported seizing black explosive power, BBs that could be used as projectiles, PVC plumbing pipe, which is often used in pipe bombs, wooden stocks from SKS rifles and marijuana.
Federal agents said the guns purchased by the undercover officers were shipped to the United States as legal sporting weapons but had been altered illegally.
The rifles had had folding stocks and pistol grips, which have no legal use, said Allen.
"It is one of the most significant weapons trafficking cases in recent years," he said.
Pub Date: 7/18/97