Live Oak men arrested for illegally selling gun silencers

GENERIC GRAPHIC — police lights.
GENERIC GRAPHIC — police lights.(MGN)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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LIVE OAK, Fla. (WCTV) - A father and son from Live Oak have been arrested for illegally selling gun silencers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Dustin Eward, 44, and 24-year-old Greg Eward face federal charges of possession and transfer of firearm silencers not registered to them, the press release says. Dustin Eward was also charged with threatening to assault and murder a federal law enforcement officer.

Greg Eward could face up to 10 years in federal prison, while Dustin Eward faces a maximum penalty of 20 years.

According to filings with the State of Florida, the Ewards were identified as corporate officers of Eward Research, Inc. and they listed “solvent traps” for sale on their website, but they were in fact selling firearm silencers. The state attorney says this is illegal to do for anyone who is not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and it’s a violation of the National Firearms Act.

The operation was discovered by an undercover agent who purchased firearm silencers and communicated with the Ewards via the website. Evidence included footage of Greg Eward mailing packages that contained the silencers.

The press release also says Dustin Eward had a history of sending violent threats to public officials and law enforcement officers via the phone, email and social media. He also posted threats on his personal website.

“Your actions are an act of war against all Americans, and I will respond accordingly,” said Dustin Eward in an email addressed to a federal agent. “You will call off your attack, or I will defend myself the only way I have left; with maximum violence.”

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Live Oak Police Department, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kirwinn Mike and Michael Coolican, the release says. This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.

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