Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 57-year-old Springfield Township man has been charged with illegally manufacturing an assault weapon, along with possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines, silencers and explosive devices.
Thomas Locker, 57, of the 100 block of Highland Road, was charged with: one count of Manufacturing a Firearm without a Serial Number (“Ghost Gun”), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-9n, a crime of the Third Degree; one count of Possession of a Defaced Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-9e, a crime of the Fourth Degree; one count of Obtaining a Firearm or Firearm Frame or Receiver without a Serial Number with the Purpose to Manufacture a Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-9k, a crime of the Third Degree; one count of Transporting, or Causing to be Transported, a Firearm into the State of New Jersey for Unlawful Sale, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-9i, a crime of the Second Degree; one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-5c, a crime of the Third Degree; three counts of Possession of a Prohibited Weapon or Device (extended magazine), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-3j, a crime of the Fourth Degree; and two counts of Possession of a Prohibited Weapon or Device (firearm silencer or suppressor), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-3c, a crime of the Fourth Degree.
A man who lived with Locker at the residence, Alexander Kovalik, 72, was charged with Certain Persons not to Possess Weapons, a crime of the Fourth Degree.
The investigation revealed that Locker had manufactured the main components of an AR-15 assault rifle in his home. The execution of a search warrant at his residence resulted in the seizure of numerous firearms, some without serial numbers, along with prohibited devices such as silencers and extended magazines, and tools and equipment to manufacture and modify firearms and explosives.
Three explosive devices, believed to be manufactured by Locker, were also seized. As a result of the discovery of those devices, Locker was later charged on a separate complaint with three counts of Possession of Prohibited Weapons and Devices (destructive devices), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 39-3a, a crime of the Third Degree.
“Gun violence has been a major problem throughout the country this summer, and it will not be tolerated here in Burlington County,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “A lot of firepower was seized as a result of this investigation. Ghost guns, defaced firearms and explosives are obviously very concerning, and we are glad that, through these arrests, we have taken these dangerous weapons out of circulation where they could have caused substantial harm to the public.”
Locker is being held in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. Kovalik was released. The cases will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment. The defendants will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun & Narcotics Task Force (GGNTF).
The investigation was conducted by personnel from the BCPO Gang, Gun & Narcotics Task Force and the Camden Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police and the Springfield Township Police Department.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.