A Massachusetts man could spend decades in prison after federal investigators allege he sold at least five firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun, throughout the state last year.
Rathsomnang Neth, 22, faces one count of dealing in firearms without a license and two counts of possessing and transferring an unregistered shotgun with a shortened barrel, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. The former carries a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. Each latter possession charge, however, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.
Investigators said Neth sold at least five guns between December 2016 and April 2017, including a Glock GMBH .40-caliber pistol, a Norinco SKS Sporter rifle, a Lorcin Engineering .380-caliber pistol, a Jimenez Arms .380-caliber pistol and a Mossberg .20 gauge pump-action shotgun with a sawed-off barrel.
Massachusetts limits private sellers to no more than four gun transfers a year, according to the Giffords Law Center. Federal law bans the possession of shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches, unless given special permission by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Neth, of Lowell, was taken into custody Wednesday, two weeks after the Department of Justice issued a warrant for his arrest. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges in a federal court in Boston later the same day. His detention hearing is scheduled for Friday, according to court records.
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