SC student arrested with 90 illegal weapons researched mass shootings, ATF says

Around the South

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina student was arrested and accused of illegally possessing 90 weapons, including numerous assault rifles, authorities said.

Edward Daniel Kimpton Jr., 25, was charged Tuesday with wire fraud, mail fraud and illegal possession of machine guns, The Columbia State reported.

Kimpton was arrested Friday after an 18-month investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Secret Service. He’s a Midlands Technical College student, officials confirmed.

Authorities said Kimpton purchased firearms, bullets, scopes, and tactical gear online from individual and retail sellers using a fake name and an electronic payment platform.

A criminal complaint said Kimpton had the guns shipped to federal firearm license-holders in different South Carolina counties, then he would pick up the gear and contest the sale, stating he never received the items.

The complaint said Kimpton retained the guns and the money. His victims were located in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Tennessee and Washington, in addition to South Carolina, the complaint said.

Federal agents searched Kimpton’s house and storage unit and found 90 weapons, 23,763 bullets, body armor, tactical clothing, gas masks, and five bump stocks, which are used to change regular assault rifles into automatic weapons.

During the investigation, authorities discovered that Kimpton researched content on South Carolina mass shooters in Charleston in 2015 and Florence in 2018. He also made online searches for instructions on how to use bump stocks, the complaint said.

Kimpton was being held without bond.

His attorney Jonathan Harvey said he would continue to seek bond for his client and would file several motions regarding Kimpton’s conduct and behavior, the newspaper reported.

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