(File photo)

Texas men accused in machine gun smuggling scheme

Two men from Central Texas and an Arizona machine gun manufacturer have been accused in a scheme that involved smuggling machine guns and ammunition to Mexico, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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Tyler Carlson, 28, of Austin; Michael Fox, 69, of Georgetown; and Tracy Garwood, 62, of Scottsdale, Arizona, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to violate multiple federal laws, including possessing and transferring unregistered machine guns and unlawfully exporting firearms to Mexico, the release said. Each of them is facing up to five years in federal prison on that charge.

Carlson was also charged with one count of possession of an unregistered machine gun, for which he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Carlson worked with others to acquire and unlawfully smuggle 200 firearms including .50-caliber rifles, plus hundreds of rounds of ammunition to Mexico, the release said.

It said he worked with Fox — who is a former law enforcement officer and federal firearms licensee — to illegally acquire multiple M-134G Minigun machine guns.

The M-134G has six barrels and can fire between 2,000 and 6,000 rounds of ammunition per minute, according to the release. As part of the scheme, Fox contacted Garwood — the owner of Garwood Industries in Scottsdale — who agreed to help build the guns and supply Fox with M-134G parts, according to the release.

It said Garwood submitted false paperwork to the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau claiming he had destroyed multiple M-134G rotor housings, a key component of the machine gun that must be serialized and registered with the ATF.

Garwood then illegally transferred the rotor housings to Fox, who used them to build multiple M-134G machine guns and unlawfully transferred them to Carlson, the release said. It said Carlson transferred the machine guns to an unnamed person who successfully smuggled them to Mexico.

Authorities served a search warrant on Fox’s house in Georgetown on Feb. 8, 2017, and found three M-134G rotor housings, according to the attorney general’s office.

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