Evesham Man Is Jailed For Hoarding Guns

Posted: September 26, 1996

A 45-year-old Burlington County man who said he had to protect himself because America is being overrun by international interests was sentenced yesterday to five years in federal prison for illegally hoarding firearms.

Federal agents raided Russell G. Fauver's home in the 100 block of Kenilworth Road in Evesham last April 4. They found 15 handguns, 12 long guns, including AK-47 assault weapons, a flamethrower and more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition.

Some of the cache was buried underground, said agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who arrested Fauver. Weapons also were hidden inside the home by taping them under furniture, said witnesses who testified at Fauver's earlier bail hearing.

A pretrial report quoted Fauver as saying he believed it was his duty to have the guns on his property.

The stocky, heavily bearded man said in court yesterday that he realizes people think he is deranged for his beliefs, but that he is sane and serious in his convictions. He quoted from books that purport to show that international conspiracies are combining to doom the United States.

Fauver said many citizens believe, as he does, that the American way of life is threatened.

Fauver pleaded guilty on June 13 to one count of illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Newark by federal Judge Albert J. Lechner Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy D. Frey said Fauver had been convicted in 1973 in New Jersey courts for possessing an automatic rifle, again in Maryland in 1977 for unlawfully transporting a machine gun, in Gloucester County in 1980 for possessing drugs, and in 1983 in federal court for receiving ammunition shipped in interstate commerce.

Fauver has been held in custody since his arrest and he goes to prison immediately, Frey said.

Frey said that Fauver's collection also included old weapons that burned black gunpowder, and that agents had learned the man was planning to get an antique Gatling gun.

The Evesham man must pay a fine of $2,000 and serve three years probation after he is released from prison, Judge Lechner ruled.

Fauver's attorney, public defender Michael Sullivan of Newark, argued that his client had a diminished capacity to understand what was happening to him, but that defense was dismissed by the court.

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