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Feds: US doctor's father an arms dealer

Feds: US doctor's father an arms dealer

The father of a doctor accused of stockpiling more than $1 million worth of machine guns, grenade launchers and grenades in and around his home is a known international arms dealer, and he and his son made frequent trips outside the country in the past two years, a federal agent testified Monday.
Prosecutors and an agent of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offered no evidence tying Dr. Randeep Mann's weapons to his father's alleged business. However, prosecutors said the doctor's frequent travels, extensive arms cache and connections in India made him a flight risk and they argued that he should be kept in custody.
"I think the quantity of the ammunition is representative of whether or not he's a danger to the community," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon said during Mann's bond hearing before U.S. Magistrate H. David Young.
Mann, 50, faces charges that accuse him of possessing machine guns that weren't federally registered in his name and possessing explosives only permitted for military use. Authorities said Mann has a permit from the federal government to sell registered machine guns.
Mann's attorney, Blake Hendrix, said he didn't have enough time to call character witnesses on his client's behalf. The magistrate ordered the hearing to resume Tuesday morning.
After the hearing, Hendrix dismissed the government's case against his client as innuendo.
"I'm hearing a lot of allegations and hyperbole, but I'm not hearing any proof to sustain them," Hendrix told reporters.
Mann was interviewed by state police on Feb. 4, the day a homemade bomb severely injured a doctor who chairs the state Medical Board, which had disciplined Mann in the past. However, U.S. Attorney Jane Duke said Mann was not a target of the investigation into the bombing.
In testimony Monday, ATF special agent David Oliver said during a search Wednesday in and around Mann's home in London, Arkansas, police found grenade launchers, grenades and about 110 fully automatic machine guns. At least four of the weapons were not registered in Mann's name, he said.
The machine guns alone were worth more than $1 million, Oliver said.
The grenades, made to be fired from launchers attached to military rifles, cannot legally be obtained in the U.S. by anyone other than military personnel, Oliver said.
"If one went off the room today, it would kill everyone in the courtroom," Oliver said.
While searching Mann's home, federal agents said, they found machine guns lying on the floor, in closets and in safes. The machine guns ranged from M-16s to a tripod-mounted .50-caliber sniper weapon, Oliver said.
"If you were shot with it, the round would cut you in half," the agent said of the sniper rifle.
The doctor also had a briefcase that could conceal a pistol or machine gun, with a trigger on the handle, Oliver said.
Oliver offered scant details about Mann's relationship with his father, Kuldip Mann. The agent said both served in the Indian military. Records show the father once was listed as a resident at his son's home, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.
Prosecutors described the pair's extensive international travel as suspicious, noting that Kuldip Mann had crossed the U.S. border, coming in or leaving, 325 times since March 2007, including eight times in a truck. Randeep Mann crossed the border 121 times during the same period, Oliver said.
Kuldip Mann's name did not appear in a search of federal court dockets across the country late Monday afternoon. Austin Banks, an ATF spokesman based in New Orleans, said he didn't know anything about the elder Mann or whether the Indian national faced any criminal charges.
A current telephone number or address for the doctor's father could not immediately be found.
Hendrix said his client's father might be in India receiving treatment for prostate cancer.
"We're not sure where he is," the lawyer said.
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Associated Press Writer Jon Gambrell contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-21 17:50 GMT+08:00