Man who allegedly researched mass shootings is charged with fraud and possession of machine gun

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Edward Daniel Kimpton, 25, was arrested final Friday by brokers from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the US Secret Service and charged with federal wire fraud, mail fraud and possession of a machine gun, in line with the US Legal professional’s Workplace for the District of South Carolina.

“Proof signifies that Kimpton has engaged in a complicated fraud scheme during which he has fraudulently obtained a excessive amount of excessive worth firearms, ammunition, firearm equipment, and tactical tools,” in line with the legal criticism authored by a particular agent with the ATF.

Authorities say Kimpton bought weapons and tactical materials from varied on-line sellers and retailers, typically utilizing fictitious names, after which disputed the fees for the gadgets, claiming he by no means obtained them. A confidential informant notified federal brokers of suspicious transactions involving Kimpton’s use of PayPal, which led the ATF to research.

In line with the criticism, officers suspect Kimpton of defrauding victims in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington state.

On April 28, the criticism says, federal brokers searched Kimpton’s residence and a storage unit. Among the many gadgets seized had been 5 bump shares, in line with the criticism — gadgets that enable a semiautomatic weapon to be fired constantly. Officers famous that it’s in opposition to the legislation to make use of such a tool, which reclassifies a firearm as a machine gun in violation of federal legislation.
Throughout their investigation, ATF and US Secret Service brokers reviewed Kimpton’s on-line search historical past, noting within the criticism that he appeared to have performed searches associated to the firearms used within the 2018 college capturing in Santa Fe, Texas, in addition to details about the shooter.

Investigators additionally stated Kimpton had seen webpages with content material relating to mass shooters in Charleston and Florence, South Carolina.

Whereas executing search warrants, investigators recovered 90 firearms — together with semiautomatics — greater than 23,000 rounds of ammunition, physique armor, tactical helmets, tactical clothes, firearm scopes, gasoline masks, quite a few loaded magazines and the bump shares, in line with the criticism.

Jonathan Harvey, an lawyer for Kimpton, declined to touch upon the fees to CNN, citing the case’s early levels.

“The US Legal professional’s Workplace for the District of South Carolina makes it a precedence to maintain our communities secure, even in gentle of the pandemic,” US Legal professional Peter McCoy Jr. stated in an announcement to CNN, including that “this criticism is an ideal instance of these efforts.”

In line with a Justice Division spokesman, Kimpton was introduced for an preliminary look on Tuesday, waived preliminary and detention hearings, and stays in federal custody.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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