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Michigan contractor convicted in defective weapon parts case

A 55-year-old man was found guilty of fraud and document-altering charges on Oct. 23. Sentencing for the felony charges is slated for Nov. 3, at which point the man is required to surrender to the United States Marshal's Office. The man is said to have provided defective machine gun and grenade launcher parts to the military, creating serious risk for soldiers.

According to reports, the man headed an aerospace manufacturing company that he founded in 2009. The company's primary activities were reportedly machining and manufacturing. Additionally, the man was involved in the manufacture of weapons components, which led to the possession of several Department of Defense weapons contracts. According to government testimony, the man directed employees to use defective parts in the production of machine guns prior to shipping them out of state for phosphate coating. The man also reportedly required employees to alter technical documents, falsely indicating that Mark-19 grenades were in compliance with government standards.

Government testimony indicated that defects involved in the case could result in runaway gun situations. Employees of the man cooperated with officials, testifying in the case about their concerns over the potential dangers to troops because of the defects in question. An individual charged in a similar government case might find that early coordination with a lawyer could provide direction in determining a defense strategy.

Evidence may play an important role in an individual's decision to plead guilty, seek a plea deal or continue to trial. Charges may be based on evidence, but a lawyer's role in defending an individual charged in a case includes assessing the validity of evidence and demonstrating inconsistencies and errors in claims of the prosecution. If evidence is compelling, a plea deal might be an alternative, possibly enabling a defendant to seek lesser charges and penalties.

Source: WZZM, "Defective machine gun parts leads to felony convictions", John Hogan, October 24, 2014

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