November 7, 2022
TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison for unlawfully possessing a privately manufactured short barrel rifle, a silencer, and five imitation badges of various federal agencies, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Jeffrey Backlund, 57, of Waretown, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with unlawfully possessing firearms that were not registered in the National Firearms Register and Transfer Record, and unlawful possession of an official badge or identification card. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Sept. 6, 2020, after investigating a domestic disturbance, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Backlund’s residence and located a number of firearms and imitation federal identification badges. They found one short-barreled, AR-style, .223 caliber rifle bearing no serial number and no branding. Attached to the rifle, they found a tan metal cylindrical device that law enforcement determined to be a silencer. Given the physical characteristics of the rifle and silencer, Backlund was required to, but did not, register these items in the National Firearms Register and Transfer Record pursuant to the National Firearms Act.
Law enforcement officers also located two bi-fold wallets containing FBI Special Agent identification credentials bearing Backlund’s picture and personal information, a United States Marshals Service badge, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent badge, and a Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent badge. All badges and identifications were imitation and Backlund did not have the authority to possess any of them.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Backlund to three years of supervised release and fined him $5,000.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; special agents of the ATF Newark Field Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryan R. Miller; special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; members of the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Juan Mattos Jr.; detectives with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, and officers of the Ocean Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michal J. Rogalski, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha K. Nye of the Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Keith Oliver Esq., Middletown, New Jersey