Passaic County Man Charged with Possession of Machinegun and Felon in Possession of Ammunition

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man made his initial court appearance today on charges of possessing a machinegun and being a felon in possession of a weapon, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Edward Austeri, 37, of Bloomingdale, New Jersey, was arrested by local authorities on April 26, 2022, and charged with state offenses. He is now charged by federal criminal complaint with one count of being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition and one count of possession of a machinegun. Austeri appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre, and was detained without bail.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On April 22, 2022, law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call reporting a domestic violence incident at a residence in Bloomingdale. The reporting male party advised that he was threatened with an AK-47 by a female family member, later identified as Austeri’s girlfriend, who was staying in his home with Austeri. Upon their arrival, law enforcement officers were directed by the homeowner to a long black firearm, later determined to be a fully automatic, AK-47 style, privately manufactured firearm with no serial number and an attached large capacity magazine containing 37 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm ammunition. Officers also recovered an additional privately manufactured firearm as well as several firearm magazines and assorted ammunition belonging to Austeri. Austeri shipped the firearms to himself from a previous address in Oregon to the residence in Bloomingdale. 

The felon in possession of ammunition and possession of a machinegun charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews; officers of the Bloomingdale Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Borell; and detectives of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mezzanotte of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.