Ocean County man had illegal guns, fake badges, feds say

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Courtroom gavel. FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Illustration

TOMS RIVER, NJ – An Ocean County man is going to federal prison for 12 months and a day after pleading guilty to illegally possessing firearms and fake federal identification badges.

Jeffrey Backlund, 57, of Waretown, pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a privately manufactured short-barrel rifle, a silencer, and five imitation badges of various federal agencies.

According to the Department of Justice, on Sept. 6, 2020, after investigating a domestic disturbance, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Backlund’s residence and located a number of firearms and imitation federal identification badges.

“They found one short-barreled, AR-style, .223 caliber rifle bearing no serial number and no branding. Attached to the rifle, they found a tan metal cylindrical device that law enforcement determined to be a silencer,” Sellinger said. “Given the physical characteristics of the rifle and silencer, Backlund was required to, but did not, register these items in the National Firearms Register and Transfer Record pursuant to the National Firearms Act.”

Police also located two wallets full of bogus identification cards including FBI Special Agent identification credentials bearing Backlund’s picture and personal information, a United States Marshals Service badge, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent badge, and a Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent badge. All badges and identifications were imitation and Backlund did not have the authority to possess any of them.