A white supremacist was inadvertently caught by federal agents with a massive arsenal of weapons and ammunition and a list of names of Jewish and black leaders. Inadvertently because they had no idea he had them, they were tracking him for illegal counterfeit sports jerseys.
Federal agents were tracking Ohio resident Richard Schmidt’s imports of counterfeit sports jerseys when they stumbled upon his arsenal of 18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof body armor. Besides the arsenal, he had lists of Jewish and black leaders in Detroit, MI. He is also an ex-felon who killed a Hispanic man and wounded two others 24 years ago.
Yet before December, no one even noticed that Schmidt, 47, was amassing weapons illegally, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Instead, federal investigators zeroed in on his sports memorabilia shop around September 2011, tracking his shipments of knock-off jerseys from China for over a year before they discovered the cache of firearms.
“I can’t tell you how he got all those guns and ammunition,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach told the Plain Dealer. “It’s not that I won’t tell you; it’s that I can’t. This is somebody who should never have had one gun, one bullet. But he had an entire arsenal.”
Schmidt is technically banned from possessing a gun for the rest of his life. In 1989, he pulled a gun on three men during a traffic argument, killing one man and wounding the other two. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served 12 years in prison.
Scott Kaufman, the head of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, was spooked after discovering he was on Schmidt’s list. “For a convicted violent felon to amass an arsenal with 40,000 rounds of ammunition with no red flags popping up is problematic,” he told the Plain Dealer. “No matter where you stand on the gun issue, it makes you wonder. The moment I saw my name in this guy’s notebook, I freaked out.”
I can tell you how he got the guns and ammo he isn’t allowed to have — gun shows, which don’t have to do background checks.