SOUTHINGTON - A Southington man who is believed to have been bringing in gun parts from out of state, assembling them and selling the untraceable weapons over the Internet could soon reach a plea agreement with state prosecutors.
Hao Quac Lam, 24, of 35 Darling St., Apt. Q, was arrested Nov. 20 after authorities from multiple agencies searched his apartment and a local storage unit, following up on an anonymous tip that led them to believe someone was trying to sell an assault rifle. Police found two assault rifles, a handgun without a permit and 29 high-capacity magazines.
Lam faces one count of possession of a handgun without a permit, two counts of possession of an assault weapon and 29 counts of possession of a high-capacity magazine. He has not entered a plea.
During a hearing on Thursday, in Bristol Superior Court, state prosecutor Jeffrey Lee said he has spoken with Lam’s attorney about a plea bargain offer. Lee said he believes the two sides will be able to reach a deal fairly soon. The prosecutor did not divulge what the plea bargain would entail.
Lam’s bond was reduced during the hearing from $1 million to $249,000, with the stipulation that his family had no intention of posting his bail. The reduction was done to allow a change in facilities where Lam would be housed, giving his attorney more access to him to talk about the case.
Lam is due back in court on Jan. 25.
At a previous hearing, Lee said he believes Lam is bringing in parts of guns from out of state and using them to assemble assault rifles with no serial numbers - also known as “ghost guns” - in his apartment and selling them over the Internet. Lee added that ghost guns are virtually untraceable.
Prior to the search on Nov. 20, police said, Lam was patted down in the parking lot of his apartment and found in possession of a Sig Sauer handgun, three fully loaded magazines and $20,952 in his pocket. Lam, according to police, admitted that he owned six rifles and brought police to a storage unit on Spring Street, where he said they were located.
Police said the storage unit contained a short barreled “AR-15 type” weapon without a stock or a serial number and another gun that was later determined to fit the state’s criteria for an assault weapon. Inside the unit, police also found two 12 gauge shotguns, two .22-caliber rifles and a 7.62 mm rifle. These weapons were registered to Lam. Police said they also seized assorted calibers of ammunition, 11 high-capacity magazines, two boxes and two belts of shotgun shells and four .22 caliber magazines.
Lam’s apartment also had four incomplete assault rifle lower receiver parts, five semi-automatic handguns, two tasers, body armor, assorted high-capacity magazines for handguns, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, a drill press and tools that were used to build firearms.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.