Two former U.S. Marines, including one Marine who was discharged after an investigation over racist comments online, were among three men arrested and charged last week with conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture, possess, and distribute various firearms and firearms parts.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced the charges against the three conspirators in a Tuesday statement. Liam Montgomery Collins, 21, and Jordan Duncan, 25, were both former U.S. Marines previously assigned to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
A third man, Paul James Kryscuk, 35, who recently lived in Boise, Idaho, was also arrested. The three men were arrested on Oct. 20.
According to Military.com, Duncan was a former cryptologic language analyst with 2nd Radio Battalion and left the Marines as a corporal in 2018 after five years in the service. Collins was discharged from the Marines last month as a lance corporal after around three years serving as an infantry rifleman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines.
Newsweek reported in November 2019 that Collins was being investigated for anti-Semitic and racist posts on a message board called Iron March, which has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an online gathering place for neo-Nazi and neo-fascist discussions. At the time, a database of Iron March accounts information was posted by an account called “antifa-data.” Newsweek found that an IP address associated with one particular user tracked back to an address in New Providence, New Jersey and that voter registration information and military records show Collins’ home address is in New Providence.
A Marine spokesman told Newsweek at the time that the Marine Corps intends to “fully investigate this allegation. If substantiated, the subject Marine will be held fully accountable.”
Military.com reported Collins was discharged from the Marines last month.
Addressing Collins’ discharge, Capt. Joe Butterfield, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon said, “Collins’ premature discharge is indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards. Due to the associated administrative processes, further details are not releasable.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Collins and Kryscuk “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.”
Collins reportedly made several money transfers through his personal account to Kryscuk between May 2019 and the present, to purchase firearms and firearm parts including a 9mm pistol and suppressor and a short barrel rifle. Kryscuk in turn purchased items from vendors to manufacture the firearms and suppressors. According to the prosecutors, Kryscuk used an alias to mail the manufactured weapons from Idaho to Jacksonville, North Carolina. Kryscuk also shipped the short barrel rifle without registering it, as required by the federal government.
Prosecutors say Duncan was aware of and participated in the conspiracy.
Collins and Kryscuk are both charged with conspiracy to manufacture firearms and ship them interstate, interstate transportation of firearms without a license, and interstate transportation of a firearm not registered as required. If convicted they face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Duncan was charged with conspiracy to manufacture firearms and ship them interstate. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison.