Homer man charged with shipping modified guns, alleged ties to 'dark web' sites

Published: Sep. 6, 2018 at 6:47 AM AKDT
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A Homer man was indicted Wednesday for 15 counts, all relating to shipping nine modified firearms from his home in Homer, Alaska to New York.

Before shipping, the guns were illegally altered, prosecutors alleged, by converting them to machine guns, and having their serial numbers defaced and destroyed.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo, which returned the indictment, 25-year-old Benjamin Asher Handley of Homer, Alaska, was charged with shipping nine firearms which had been modified illegally.

The presiding judge ordered Handley to be detained in custody before being taken to to Buffalo, New York, for arraignment, due to actions Handley reportedly took while in jail, namely conspiring to destroy evidence.

The 25-year-old reportedly told his mother to get rid of items from his truck and room, including two briefcases, which was treated as destruction of evidence. If this is found to be true, the judge wrote, that will constitute the commission of a new crime.

Additionally, the judge said that Handley "conducted business on the dark web" and had email accounts linked to three dark web sites using false identification. Those fake ID's and the ability to obtain them, the judge surmised, could translate to a flight risk for Handley.

Handley allegedly shipped the guns this year between February and July. The guns referred to in the indictment were Glocks, MAC9s, and a MAC10 and MAC11. They had been converted to fire as automatic weapons like a machine gun, rather than semi-auto.

Now, it is planned that Handley will be transported to Buffalo to be arraigned.