Photo: Stock / Unsplash
By Caitlin M. Kenney, Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — Two former Marines based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., were arrested for illegally making, transporting and selling firearms, including one who was investigated for white supremacist activities while in the service, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Former Marines Liam Montgomery Collins, 21, and Jordan Duncan, 25, were arrested along with Paul James Kryscuk, 35, on federal charges Oct. 20 for “conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture, possess, and distribute various weapons, ammunition and suppressors,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
“The Marine Corps will continue to assist the investigating authorities in any way we can. The serious allegations are not a reflection of the Marine Corps, do not reflect the oath every Marine takes to support and defend the Constitution, and do not align with our core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Capt. Joseph Butterfield, a Marine Corps spokesman, said in a statement Wednesday.
Collins and Kryscuk are co-defendants who “used the conspiracy to enrich themselves and others by manufacturing and selling hard to obtain firearms and firearm parts in a manner that would hide these purchases from the federal government,” the Justice Department said. Duncan was aware of the illegal activity and participated in it, according to the release.
Collins made multiple money transfers to Kryscuk from May 2019 to the present to buy guns, including a 9mm pistol and suppressor and a short-barrel rifle, according to the Justice Department. Kryscuk then made the firearms and suppressors from parts that he bought from vendors. He also used an alias to mail the firearms and suppressor from Idaho, where he lived, to Jacksonville, N.C. Duncan resides in Boise, Idaho.
Kryscuk also mailed the short-barrel rifle to Collins without registering it with the federal government, which is required, according to the Justice Department.
At the time, Collins was a lance corporal in the Marine Corps assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, according to the Marine Corps.
Collins served in the Marine Corps as a rifleman from Aug. 21, 2017, to Sept. 21, 2020, a shorter enlistment than the typical four-year term, according to his service record.
“Collins’ premature discharge is indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards,” Butterfield said in a statement. “Due to the associated administrative processes, further details are not releasable.”
A Newsweek report from November 2019 reported Collins was linked to racist and anti-Semitic postings on the neo-Nazi, white supremacist website called Iron March. A Marine Corps statement in the story said the service intended to investigate the allegation.
Butterfield confirmed Wednesday that Collins was investigated at the time following “allegations of white supremacist activities.”
“Following the investigation, appropriate actions were taken. Those actions, however, where administrative in nature and not releasable,” he said.
Duncan served in the Marine Corps from Sept. 9, 2013, to Sept. 8, 2018, as a cryptologic language analyst, rising to the rank of corporal. He also was last assigned to Camp Lejeune with the 2nd Radio Battalion, Marine Information Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, according to his service record.
His service awards include the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
Collins and Kryscuk are charged with conspiracy to manufacture guns and ship them between states, transporting guns between states without a license, and transporting a gun between states that is not registered as required, according to the release. If convicted, each face a combination of 20 years in prison.
Duncan is charged with conspiracy to manufacture guns and ship them between states, according to the release. He faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted.