HANOVER, N.Y. (WIVB) - A man from Silver Creek is now the first person in New York to face charges under the state's strict new gun law.
Prosecutors say 32-year-old Benjamin Wassell sold illegal assault and semi-automatic assault weapons to an undercover state police investigator. The state Attorney General's office says the second sale happened in February, after passage of the NY SAFE Act.
Wassell allegedly first sold an illegal DelTon DTI-15 assault rifle to an undercover officer in January. Investigators say because the rifle was outfitted with additional features including a pistol grip, a telescoping butt stock, and a bayonet mount, it is classified as an illegal assault weapon under the penal law. For that alleged sale, Wassell is charged with felony criminal sale of an illegal weapon.
In the second alleged sale, investigators say Wassell sold an undercover officer an Armalite AR-10 Magnum Semiautomatic Rifle in February, in violation of the then recently passed NY SAFE Act, which made illegal the transfer, sale, exchange and disposal of an assault weapon to a person unauthorized to possess such a weapon. Wassell is facing a misdemeanor for the alleged violation of the NY SAFE Act.
Wassell was arraigned Thursday and is due back in court next week.
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