A Lawrence man has been indicted for unlawful possession of a Colt AR-15 machine gun, a federal crime punishible by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday.
John B. Holt, 24, was indicted on the charge Wednesday afternoon by a federal grand jury in Topeka.
He was arrested Aug. 19 by Lawrence police investigating an assault report, said Brent Anderson, first assistant U.S. attorney in Wichita.
Holt was arrested after Lawrence police were called to a disturbance at the Jayhawk Cafe, 1340 Ohio, where Holt was a customer, a police spokesman said.
Holt allegedly told other people in the establishment he possessed the weapon and threatened to use it, the spokesman said.
Anderson said police found the weapon after Holt gave police permission to search his vehicle. He had not pointed or fired the weapon at anyone, the spokesman said.
The weapon, similar to an M-16 machine gun, had been modified to be fully automatic.
Possession of any fully automatic weapon is a violation of federal law.
Lawrence police contacted the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which assisted with the investigation, officials said.
Holt was charged locally with possession of an unlawful weapon and making terroristic threats, the police spokesman said.
Anderson and the police spokesman said they were unsure if Holt currently is in custody. Jail officials today said he was not being held in Douglas County Jail.
Anderson said a hearing normally is held within 10 days for anyone indicted on federal charges. If the person indicted cannot be found within 10 days, a search warrant for his or her arrest will be issued, Anderson said.