CAMDEN, N.J. – A North Carolina man was arrested today on charges that he brought a loaded handgun and machine gun into a federal facility, and illegally transported the machine gun into New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Dustin Peters, 25, a former Marine, was arrested in Cape May County, New Jersey, and is charged by complaint with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in a federal facility and one count of unlawful interstate transport of a machine gun. Peters is scheduled to have an initial appearance on Jan. 21, 2020, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case:
On Jan. 9, 2020, Peters attempted to enter the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May. During a routine security search of his vehicle, Coast Guard personnel recovered a modified, fully automatic AK-47 rifle, a loaded 9mm Century Arms handgun, multiple large capacity magazines, ammunition, a ballistic vest, gas mask and canister, three boxes of ammunition, a nylon chest rig, and other items. Peters told law enforcement agents that he purchased the AK-47 in Virginia, but modified it on his own to become fully automatic.
The counts of possession of a firearm on a federal facility carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The unlawful interstate transport of a machine gun carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Atlantic City Resident Agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; members of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Rodney E. Newcomer; the Cape May Police Department under the direction of Chief Anthony G. Marino Jr.; and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alisa Shver of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice's signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department's past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see http://www.justice.gov/projectguardian
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.