NEWARK (CBS SF) — A Newark man was arrested after police said he was manufacturing fully-automatic assault rifles in his garage.
Federal court documents indicated the suspect, Harry Lewis, was cooperative during his arrest and handed police a bag containing all of the rifles he had made in the past six months — six in total. Along with the firearms, police found two silencers and several ammunition magazines.
According to police, the case has been turned over to the FBI as the suspect now faces federal firearms charges. Authorities said the arrest came after a tipster alerted them to a man allegedly making guns.
When police asked Lewis why he was making the weapons, he said he wanted to see if he could actually build a firearm, according to court documents.
Neighbors were surprised by the arrest.
“Great neighbor, super caring guy,” said neighbor Mike Wethern, who added that Lewis, nicknamed “Butch,” was a Vietnam War vet who would “never, absolutely not” hurt anyone.
“That’s pretty crazy, but I don’t know, he never really bothered anybody”, said Kayla Grandstaff. “Other than he was a motorcycle guy, he was always riding his motorcycle, but that’s about it.”
Lewis faces one count of possessing a machine gun and faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted.
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