Dawn Nguyen being led by police.
Greece, NY (Democrat and Chronicle) -- A New York woman was charged Friday with lying on federal forms she filed
when buying two of the guns that William Spengler Jr. used in the
Christmas Eve shooting of four volunteer firefighters.
Federal prosecutors allege Dawn Nguyen, 24, of Greece, bought
the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle and the Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun that
Spengler used in his attack, and that Spengler accompanied her during
the purchase at a Gander Mountain store in Henrietta, NY in June 2010.
READ: Criminal complaint against Dawn Nguyen (PDF)
Nguyen had lived next door to Spengler on Lake Road until recently.
guns were among three that authorities say they found in Spengler's
arsenal. Authorities have not said whether Spengler fired all of the
guns during his rampage, but have said they suspect he used the
Bushmaster rifle to fire upon on the firefighters.
The third gun, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, was not among those mentioned in the federal charges.
also faces a state felony charge of filing a false business record, and
was issued a ticket to appear in Henrietta Town Court on Jan. 8.
convicted on the federal charge, Nguyen faces a maximum of 10 years in
prison and a $250,000 fine. She was released after a hearing in federal
U.S. District Court Thursday afternoon.
Spengler killed two men,
wounded three others and burned down seven houses in Webster. Another
body was found in the ashes that is believed to be that of Spengler's
Acting on information that Spengler had left in a note found at the
scene on Lake Road, officers from the New York State Police, Webster
Police and agents form the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives descended on the Alpine Road home where Nguyen was
staying around 1:40 p.m.
Nguyen was taken out of the house in handcuffs minutes later.
an afternoon news conference in Rochester, U.S. Attorney William Hochul
Jr. described the note as a "suicide note," and said it indicated that
the guns had come from a daughter of a neighbor.
others at the afternoon news conference described Nguyen's alleged
actions as a "straw purchase," in which one person intentionally and
knowingly buys guns for another. Spengler could not legally own or
purchase guns because of a felony conviction: he bludgeoned his
grandmother to death in 1980.
"(Spengler) was the true owner. She should have said that on the form," Hochul said.
Nguyen's lawyer, David Palmiere, said Friday that his client maintained the guns had been stolen from her.
purchased the weapons legally, and they were stolen," Palmiere said. He
said Nguyen does not recall whether she reported the guns stolen.
Authorities have been investigating how Spengler acquired the weapons he used to kill two firefighters and wound two others. .
neighbors on Alpine Road described the home as quiet, but said there
was constant traffic in and out. There were five or six cars parked in
the driveway Friday afternoon.
Earlier Friday, Nguyen's brother said the weapons were stolen from Nguyen's car.
think they sold him the guns, but he stole them," said Steven Nguyen,
18, in the doorway of the family's Seneca County home.
doorway of a home in Greece, Nguyen's mother, Dawn Welsher said her
lawyer advised her not to speak to the media. "All I can say is, I'm
being set up," she said.
In a voice message recorded earlier Friday, Welsher told a Democrat and Chronicle reporter she wanted to talk.
is nuts," she said in the recording. "I never supplied this man with
nothing. My daughter never supplied him with anything. He's setting us
Nguyen said his mother was questioned by police Monday. She
left her home early Friday morning and went to her daughters' Greece
residence, her son said.
"She said she wanted to go up there before there was an arrest," Steven Nguyen said.
Law enforcement sources had said Thursday that an arrest in the case was imminent.
shot four firefighters, killing two - Lt. Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz
Kaczowka - and severely injuring two others before shooting himself
fatally in the head. The fire burned for hours unchecked because of the
danger Spengler posed. It destroyed seven houses and seriously damaged
Welsher and her chidlren lived at 193 Lake Road, which
is one house east of Spengler's address, for about five years. The
family moved to Seneca County last year, the son said.
Nguyen claimed that at least one gun that belonged to his sister, Dawn,
was stolen from the trunk of her car when it was parked at the family's
Lake Road home.
"I think there was only one gun," said Steven
Nguyen, who added that he did not know if his sister reported the theft
to law enforcement.
He said Spengler was "nice, but he was a little crazy."
always had holes in his jeans. He used to come over every day to talk
to my mom," said Steven Nguyen, the youngest of Welsher's seven
"I think he had a crush on her," the son said.
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