News and Press Releases

Man Sold Undercover ATF Agent Guns, Silencer, and Hand Grenade

March 23, 2007

DANA JAY HULET, 51, of Vashon Island, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to twelve months and one day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for Transfer of an Unregistered Firearm (Silencer) and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm (Destructive Device) (pipe bombs). U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess imposed the sentence.

According to records filed in the case, HULET was arrested in September 2006, following a search of his then-residence in University Place. In the search, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) agents found ten improvised hand grenades, three pipe bombs and the makings for an additional 25 hand grenades, in two sheds on the property. Agents had first learned of HULET from a confidential source. In August of 2006, HULET met with an undercover ATF agent and sold him a 9mm caliber pistol with a silencer, a .22 caliber pistol, a hand grenade and six pressure sensitive explosives called “railroad torpedoes.” HULET had previously been a licensed federal firearms dealer, but that license would not have made it legal for him to posses either the silencer or the grenade.

In asking for a prison term, Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber noted in his sentencing memo that HULET was well aware of the laws surrounding transfer and storage of firearms. In addition to being a former federal firearms licensee, HULET “had over 16 years as a firefighter and/or dispatcher with the Vashon Island Fire Department, (and) was improperly storing explosives in a shed in a residential neighborhood. ....Who should know more about the risk of calamitous fire and explosions from the improper and unsafe storage of grenades, black powder, and live pipe bombs, than someone with 16 years of experience as a firefighter and fire department employee?,” Gruber wrote to the court.

At the time of his arrest HULET was employed by the University Place School District as an instructional aid. The district notified parents by letter, and in an abundance of caution, examined all the science kits HULET had assembled to make sure there were no safety risks. HULET no longer works for the district.

The case was investigated by the ATF and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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