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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Friday, March 14, 2014

Two Men Charged With Illegally Manufacturing And Transporting Firearms

Navy official allegedly set up $1.6 million contract for silencers from unlicensed company

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Lee Hall, 52, of northern Virginia, and Mark Landersman, 53, of California with conspiracy to illegally manufacture firearms, transport unregistered firearms in interstate commerce and commit mail fraud.  Lee Hall also is charged with theft of government money.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Rocco Pierri, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s (NCIS) Washington Field Office; and Charles E. Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement.

Hallfaces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if convicted of both charges.  Landersman faces a maximum penalty of five years if convicted.

According to the indictment, as Intelligence Director of the Office of Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration for the Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy, Lee Hall initiated a sole source contract between a Navy prime contractor and Mark Landersman’s company, Advanced Machining and Engineering (AME), for the manufacture of 349 silencers at a cost of approximately $1.6 million.

According to court records, neither Landersman nor AME was licensed to manufacture or sell firearms or silencers.  Moreover, although AME was to receive about $1.6 million for the silencers, Landersman subcontracted the actual production of the silencers for a cost of approximately $10,000.  Landersman had the silencers manufactured without serial numbers and shipped them to Maryland in February 2013.

The sole source contract called for Landersman to receive a deposit of approximately $800,000 before starting production, with the balance to be paid shortly after the silencers were shipped from California to Maryland.  In April 2013, Landersman received the remaining balance of approximately $800,000 under the subcontract.  An inspection report submitted before payment of the remaining balance stated that the silencers had been inspected and that they conformed to the contract.  No inspection of the silencers, however, was actually done prior to paying the $800,000 balance.

This investigation is being conducted jointly by NCIS and ATF.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Morris Parker, Patricia Haynes and Karen Taylor are prosecuting the case.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on PACER and on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Updated March 18, 2015