Man Convicted in Federal Court in Reno for Possession of Machine Guns
Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Thomas J. Cannon, Resident Agent-in-Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the Reno, Nevada Field Office, announced that CHAD HARWOOD, age 34, a resident of Beaverton, Oregon, was convicted by a jury in federal court in Reno on Friday, October 25, 2002, of three counts of Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(o) and 924(a)(2), and three counts of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm, violations of Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5861(d). The trial began Wednesday, October 23, 2002, and was presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Larry R. Hicks.
According to the court records, on August 19, 2001, deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded to complaints of possible trespassing and sounds of rapid gunfire at a property in the Horseshoe Bend area on Mudd Lake Road, near Minden, Nevada. When deputies arrived at the area, which was gated and well-marked as private property, they heard rapid gunfire and observed an empty, unsecured Ford Ranger pickup with its windows rolled down. Inside the pickup, deputies observed three machine guns, boxes of ammunition, beer, and a wallet containing HARWOOD's identification. The deputies removed the weapons from the vehicle for safety, and left a card in the vehicle to advise the driver to contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.
Special Agents of the BATF conducted a records search on the defendant and the weapons, and determined that the firearms were not registered to anyone and that the defendant was not registered to have the weapons.
Later in the day on August 19, 2001, CHAD HARWOOD appeared at the Minden, Nevada Police Station and attempted to claim the weapons. Deputies advised HARWOOD that he could not have the machine guns back, and they provided him a receipt for the property. HARWOOD was also cited for trespassing.
On October 24, 2001, HARWOOD was indicted by a federal grand jury in Reno. On Friday, October 25, 2002, the jury found him guilty of all counts charged against him in the Indictment.
The Court set a January 24, 2003 sentencing date for HARWOOD. He is facing 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. HARWOOD is released on bond pending sentencing.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the BATF and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Don Gifford.