A Haddon Township man was arrested Thursday on a slew of gun charges, and authorities say he’s also a member of a federally recognized anti-government extremist group.
Gregory Gawrysiak, 46, of the first block of Emerald Avenue in Haddon Township, was arrested Thursday morning at his home for illegally possessing several firearms.
Gawrysiak was ineligible to buy new firearms after a 2010 incident in which he allegedly threatened to kill law enforcement officers, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office reported. Police confiscated a firearm from him at that time. While Gawrysiak wasn’t charged, he relinquished his firearms identification card and his eligibility to purchase new guns.
After the 2010 investigation, officials learned Gawrysiak is part of Sovereign Citizen Movement, which believes federal and state governments lack legitimate authority, the prosecutor’s office said.
"Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or 'sovereign' from the United States," according to an FBI profile. "As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or law enforcement."
An investigation into the group by Haddon Township Police and the prosecutor’s office Homeland Security/Counter-Terrorism officer prompted a deeper look into Gawrysiak.
“During a three-month investigation, it was determined that the weapon obtained in 2010 was an illegal assault firearm according to New Jersey statute,” reads a release from the prosecutor’s office. “Further investigation revealed Gawrysiak had obtained a false Pennsylvania driver’s license last year by using a relative’s address and was continuing to purchase guns illegally in that state.”
On Thursday, authorities confiscated a pistol from Gawrysiak’s Emerald Avenue home. His relatives tipped police off to other weapons—a handgun, shotgun and rifle—belonging to Gawrysiak, but kept at a Mantua home. Authorities said the weapons were bought illegally in Pennsylvania in 2012.
Gawrysiak is an apprentice linesman for Amtrak, the prosecutor’s office said. Amtrak representatives were on hand at his arrest.
Gawrysiak was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of an assault firearm and possession of a defaced firearm. He was jailed in Camden County on $500,000 bail. Additional charges are pending in Pennsylvania.
Police are continuing to investigate Gawrysiak’s alleged activities.
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