Denver Firefighter Arrested For Allegedly Selling Machine Guns

A federal official said he is interested in militias.


A Denver firefighter was held without bond Wednesday following his arrest by the FBI for allegedly selling an illegal machine gun without a license.

According to the arrest affidavit, the firefighter, Stan Taran Ford, has "anti-U.S. sympathies and has ties to an unknown domestic terrorism organization."

A federal official told 7NEWS that Ford, 34, is interested in militias, and that the terror organization is more like a domestic hate group than an international terrorist organization.

A source told 7NEWS that Ford refused to get a Colorado driver's license for some time because he felt that the government could track him that way. That same source said Ford was a "gun enthusiast" who would show up at fire department events with lists of guns that he had available for sale, 7NEWS reported.

Ford, 34, was arrested Tuesday in front of his Denver home while he was on his way to work. He has been suspended from the fire department without pay. He was hired in February, 1999.

"There's not much that we can comment on as a result of the ongoing investigation," said Phil Champagne, a fire department spokesman. "We would assist them (the FBI) in any way with any investigation at any time."

Ford faces two counts of possessing and selling automatic machine guns.

The FBI Domestic Terrorism Task Force had been investigating Ford's case for a year, according to the affidavit. Investigators said Ford sold two different types of automatic weapons in April 2005 and August 2005 to a cooperating witness who was working for federal agents.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said that Ford was not licensed to sell weapons. A search of his home after his arrest brought about several more weapons, 7NEWS reported.

The investigation into Ford began more than two years ago after the El Paso County Sheriff's Office learned that Ford was allegedly trying to buy sensitive military communication systems and night vision goggles from a military base in Colorado Springs.

According to the affidavit, investigators also developed information that Ford and his associates had obtained Chinese military weapons.

7News said that other people are also under investigation in the case.

Ford is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 28. A judge will also decide at that time whether Ford should remain in custody.

Read complete arrest affidavit (PDF File.)

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