A firefighter and a police officer in Blackwell are facing serious charges. Federal authorities charged 30-year-old Troy Aebischer and 26-year-old John Harvey with illegally possessing a fully automatic Russian AK-47 machine gun.
Aebischer is a member of the Blackwell Fire Department who holds a current federal firearm license to both purchase and sell firearms out of his home-based business in Blackwell. Harvey is a patrolman with the Blackwell Police Department.
Complaints filed on Monday accuse Aebischer of buying the gun from Harvey, who had smuggled it back from a military deployment in Afghanistan.
Authorities say Aebischer then tried to sell the gun to a Blackwell Police officer.
According to authorities, the Blackwell Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives set up a sting operation, and arranged for an officer to meet with Aebischer to examine and test fire the AK-47. The officer later arranged to purchase the weapon from Aebischer for $2,000 on February 28.
Both Aebischer and Harvey were arrested on March 1 and appeared Monday afternoon in federal court in Oklahoma City. They were each released on $5,000 unsecured bond.
If convicted, Aebischer and Harvey each face up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.