New Arrest in Washington White Supremacist Weapons Case

  • October 24, 2005

A man accused of manufacturing and supplying weapons to a Seattle neo-Nazi was arrested in southern California on October 18, 2005.

Ghassan Haddad, a gunsmith, allegedly manufactured illegal machine guns and helped supply automatic weapons to former Aryan Nations member Keith Gilbert, according to federal agents. Haddad has been charged in U.S. District Court in Seattle with dealing in firearms without a license, manufacture of an unregistered firearm and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Gilbert, 65, and two other white supremacists, William D. Heinrich and John P. Hegna, were arrested in Washington in February. Gilbert is accused of selling weapons, including machine guns, to an ATF informant. One of the weapons, a rifle that can be converted to a machine gun, came from Haddad, Gilbert allegedly told the informant.

No information has emerged that suggests Haddad himself was a white supremacist.

While working at a booth at the Puyallup gun show in Washington, Haddad allegedly told an undercover agent that he knew people who could make an automatic weapon from the parts he sold.  Haddad said he would describe the assembly of the parts needed for an automatic weapon, according to court documents.

Another alleged accomplice, Sergey Zarodnyuk, was charged in June with conspiracy, dealing in guns without a license and possession of unregistered guns. Zarodnyuk, a Ukrainian immigrant, also supplied weapons to Keith Gilbert, according to court documents.

Zarodnyuk reportedly told agents that Haddad had helped him to convert AK rifles he had shipped from Ukraine to the U.S. into fully automatic machine guns. Zarodnyuk came to the attention of federal authorities when agents saw him selling what appeared to be AK-47s and AK-74s at the Puyallup gun show in February 2002, according to court documents.