Feds bust large illegal gun operation

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

JACKSON, TN (WMC-TV) - A large illegal gun operation was busted when officials seized nearly 200 weapons from single home in West Tennessee.

From a home near Henderson in Chester County, Tennessee, federal investigators say they found high-powered assault weapons, some equipped with silencers, along with nearly 200 other guns.  Many of them are prohibited by law to buy, sell, or own.

"The Gestapo is alive and well," said Carolyn Cherry Monday evening from her car outside the home.

Cherry, her husband Donald and his 81-year-old father were among five people indicted Monday for trafficking firearms on a major scale.  It's something Carolyn denied.

"I'm a collector," said Cherry. "And can't give you any statement cause my attorney told me not to."

Their alleged operation was busted two weeks ago following a two-month-long investigation headed by the ATF.  According to an indictment, an undercover agent bought weapons from the Cherry home.

"Anybody who had money to pay for weapons," said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Laurenzi during a news conference in Jackson.  "They were available for sale."

Agents said it was likely many weapons ended up in Memphis and in cities across the Mid-South.

"Yeah, it's something else," said neighbor Jerry South.

The illegal activity is something about which neighbor Jerry South had no clue.

"You never know what's going on behind closed doors," South added.

In addition to 195 weapons, the Feds seized 125,000 rounds of ammunition, $8000, and six smoke grenades.  Members of the Cherry family and the two others indicted each face anywhere from 20 to 90 years in prison.

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