Harford County Man Facing Federal Charge for Illegal Possession of an Unregistered Silencer | USAO-MD

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal criminal complaint has been unsealed charging Blaine Kenneth Kluge, age 25, of Forest Hill, Maryland, for illegal possession of an unregistered firearm, specifically, a silencer.  The complaint was filed January 28, 2021 and unsealed on February 3, 2021 upon the arrest of the defendant.

The federal charge was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Charles Moore of the Bel Air Police Department.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, on October 30, 2019, a search warrant was executed at Kluge’s residence for evidence related to the burglary and desecration of a church in Bel Air, Maryland.  During the search of the home, law enforcement recovered from Kluge’s bedroom a suspected homemade silencer; a replica Nazi knife with a swastika on it; a replica German military helmet bearing Nazi symbols; a ballistic vest with rifle plates, and two loaded magazines of .223-caliber ammunition stored inside the vest; and over 2,500 rounds of varying caliber ammunition.

As detailed in the affidavit, the silencer was found on top of a locked stand-up gun safe in Kluge’s bedroom.  The ballistic vest and two loaded magazines were found inside the safe, but no guns were found in the safe.  Additional investigation found that the silencer was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record database, as required.  The silencer was determined to have been constructed by an individual rather than purchased through legal channels.

If convicted, Kluge faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for illegal possession of an unregistered firearm, specifically a silencer.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  At yesterday’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner ordered that Kluge be released pending trial.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF and the Bel Air Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles D. Austin and Zachary B. Stendig, who are prosecuting this case.

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