Ohio firearms dealer Keith Baranski has been convicted of conspiring to illegally bring machine guns into the United State and of submitting false documents to do it. Baranski and to others, including the former Police Chief of Farmer, Jeffrey Knipp, and Lincoln County resident James Carmi were involved in the scheme. Knipp, who awaits sentencing for his part in the scheme, was paid by Carmi to provide letters saying the weapons would be used for law enforcement demonstrations. The federal prosecutor says the letters from Knipp were used to import the machine guns and anti-aircraft cannons. A raid on Carmi’s property two years ago resulted in the seizure of 800 imported machine guns. Other seizures in other parts of the country raise the total number of weapons found to about 1,500. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms says it’s the biggest seizure of automatic weapons in the history of the ATF. Knipp will be sentenced next month. Carmi’s in prison for almost four years.
[We originally reported that Mr. Baranski plead guilty to the charges. This was incorrect. We have updated the story. — April 18, 2008]