Rex Heuermann, the accused serial killer associated with the Gilgo Beach killings in New York, was found to have possessed more than 50 illegal handguns and assault weapons, which may violate firearm regulations.
The revelation emerged during a legal battle waged by the 59-year-old married father to prevent the transfer of nearly 300 firearms seized from his residence in Massapequa Park to Nassau County investigators, who are pursuing independent additional charges, the New York Post reported.
"Several of the firearms were apparently illegally possessed," asserted Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Lawrence Opisso in a filing on Tuesday, as he questioned Heuermann's entitlement to retain them, the Daily Mail reported.
"For example ... at least 26 unregistered handguns, 15 unregistered assault weapons, and ten high-capacity magazines appear to have been possessed in the defendant's home in violation of [state firearms laws]," Opisso said.
The district attorney did not disclose the precise make and model of each of the purportedly illegal firearms.
Heuermann, an architect, is faced with three first-degree murder charges.
The weapons were uncovered at Heuermann's residence as part of the inquiry conducted by Suffolk County officials, who were investigating the Gilgo Beach victims' case.
Suffolk investigators have said they intend to transfer the seized firearms to authorities in Nassau County, where Heuermann's home is located.
Heuermann contested the strategy proposed by Suffolk investigators. In court documents filed Sept. 21, Heuermann's defense team argued that his financially struggling family should be able to retain these legally possessed weapons, with the possibility of pawning them.
Sabato Caponi, Heuermann's defense counsel, said the seized arsenal encompasses "magazines, cases, attachments, ammunition, bullet fragments, and shell casings," contending in legal filings that the court should only authorize the transfer of these weapons if requested by Nassau County or if there is a pending case directly related to the firearms.
An inventory conducted over 12 days at Heuermann's home revealed a collection from 1860s guns to European-manufactured firearms.
Among these were weapons utilized in world wars, assault rifles, and a rifle with a defaced serial number, according to court records.
Robert Macedonio, counsel for Heuermann's estranged wife, estimated the collection's value at approximately $300,000, emphasizing Heuermann's legal acquisition.
"They are valuable collectors' items that he collected legally," he said earlier this month, calling Heuermann a "gun guy" who attended NRA conferences.
Macedonio argued that Heuermann's wife can claim legally purchased guns as marital property worth hundreds of thousands. Heuermann had permits for 92 guns but also had unpermitted long guns.
Heuermann is charged with the 2010 murders of Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello, all found in burlap sacks at Gilgo Beach. He's also a prime suspect in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25.
No guns are believed to have been used in these Gilgo Beach homicides.
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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