WARETOWN – An Ocean County man was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for unlawfully possessing a rifle, a silencer, and five imitation federal badges, officials said.
Jeffrey Backlund, 57, of Waretown, previously pleaded guilty to 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.
On September 6, 2020, authorities performed a search warrant at Backlund’s home in regards to a domestic disturbance. Inside officers located several firearms and imitation federal identification badges
According to officials, 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.
Due to the characteristics of the rifle and silencer, Backlund was required to register these items in the National Firearms Register and Transfer Record pursuant to the National Firearms Act. However, he did not.
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 fake and Backlund did not have the authority to possess any of them, officials said.
In addition to the prison term, Backlund was sentenced to three years of supervised release and a fine of $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 Backlund’s sentencing.