Man Charged with Possessing a Firearm at the Rainbow Bridge
BUFFALO, N.Y.–U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Varapong Ruengvivatanakij, 33, formerly of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on May 18, 2014, the defendant attempted to enter the United States at the Rainbow Bridge. During a secondary inspection by Customs and Border Protection officers, it was determined Ruengvivatanakij was a convicted felon and in possession of a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in the trunk of his vehicle.
The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. on May 19, 2014 and was ordered detained.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and officers of Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Randy Howe, Director of Field Operations.The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.