Officials took Andrew Hatziagelis, 39 and Angelo Hatziagelis, 51 into custody after the grand jury indicted them on 130 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and related charges, according to a statement from Queens County, New York District Attorney Melinda Katz.
The charges come after officials found eight improvised explosive devices (IEDs), six constructed “ghost guns,” more than 600 rounds of ammunition, and several other suspicious items in their home. Police also found a “hit list” with “cops, judges, politicians, celebrities” and “banker scum” written on it, according to the statement.
Ghost guns are firearms constructed by the user, typically out of “buy build shoot” kits or 3D-printed components. The Hatziagelis had a 3D printer and at least two 3D-printed ghost guns, according to the statement.
The Biden administration implemented stronger ghost gun regulations in 2022, banning the manufacturing of unserialised “buy build shoot” kits, which gun rights groups met with strong opposition. Tactical Machining LLC filed a complaint against the regulations, claiming they contradicted wording in the 1968 Gun Control Act that defined a firearm. They were soon joined by several other companies.
The case made it to the Supreme Court last summer, where the Justices voted 5-4 to permit the regulations to continue.
In 2022, the US Department of Justice recovered 25,785 ghost guns in domestic seizures and 2,453 through international operations. In the first six months of 2023, the Department recovered more than 10,000 domestically and 1,000 internationally.
Among other things, the brothers also had three sets of body armour, 29 high-capacity ammunition feeding devices — several of which were 3D-printed — metal knuckles, nine smoke bombs as well as tools and supplies to build ghost guns and IEDs, according to the statement from Ms Katz’s office.
“Today’s charges underscore the harsh reality that our communities contain a small number of people who conceivably harbor evil intent,” New York Police Department Commissioner Edward Caban said in a statement. “This cache of weapons – including explosives and untraceable, 3D-printed ghost guns – had the potential to wreak horrendous carnage.”
The brothers’ next court appearance is set for 15 February and the duo could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, according to the statement.