HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — An Albertville man facing federal gun charges after a pawn shop raid appeared before a federal judge today.
Joe Campbell III had a scheduled federal bond hearing Tuesday morning. Campbell, accompanied by his father and stepmom, was in court to formally acknowledge the terms of his bond.
Campbell’s father and stepmother needed to be present in court today because they used their house to secure that Campbell would not violate the terms of his $100,000 bond.
If Campbell does violate the conditions of his bond, his parents signed a promissory note that requires them to pay the government the entire $100,000.
Campbell is not allowed to have guns due to a previous federal felony weapons conviction in 2007. ATF is said to have confiscated more than 250 firearms during the raid at Joe’s Pawn Shop. Neither Campbell nor his business, have a license to sell firearms.
The federal case Campbell was in court for today, included an affidavit from an ATF special agent that is likely to spur further investigation.
The affidavit includes a description of the room inside Joe’s Pawn where Campbell was found before his arrest. The affidavit notes the room appeared to be where firearms magazines were created or modified and then shipped.
“Campbell was encountered in the shipping area alone. Based on my investigation, this area was a place where firearm magazines were created or modified and then shipped,” the affidavit reads. “The room contained 3-D printers as well as several boxes full of magazines. The room also contained packages with shipping labels. These labels had a number on them that corresponded to a box of magazines on the shelves. The numbers also corresponded to a drawer that contained a firearm associated with the respective magazine. Based on my investigation, I believe that working with the firearms is an essential part of creating the magazines that are then shipped.”
The federal government is expanding its focus on 3-D printers in connection with firearms, according to new ATF rules set to go into effect Aug. 24. Those rules for licensed firearms dealers are expected to include requiring a firearm housing to have a serial number, that licensed gun dealers who receive a privately-made firearm must record and mark the firearm within 7 days.
The rules don’t appear to address 3-D printed magazines, so it’s not clear how the affidavit pointing out the 3-D printers will impact the ongoing investigation into joe’s pawn.
Law enforcement officials have expressed concern about firearms being produced by a 3D printer. Those firearms could be made without a serial number and because of the materials could potentially be a weapon that metal detectors and other scanners may miss.
Late last year the Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a report calling on the ATF to do more to scrutinize the production and use of 3-D firearms. ATF officials said they supported the recommendations, which included: updating ATF policies to monitor 3-D printed firearms; urging the agency to stop up to date on the firearms industry’s latest developments in 3-D printing firearms technology, and collecting more data on recovered 3-D printed weapons and hybrids.
Campbell is also facing state charges of first-degree receiving stolen property.
Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims did not say what exactly was stolen. However, he did mention the items were from big box stores like Target and Walmart.
Campbell paid a $25,000 cash bond to be released from the county jail shortly after his arrest.
On that charge, he is due in state court on September 7 for his preliminary hearing.