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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Dade City Man Arrested for Unlicensed Possession of a Machine Gun

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Stewart Walter Bachmann, 55, of Dade City with one count of unlicensed possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). If convicted, Bachmann faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

According to the complaint, on August 5, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from Bachman who told the dispatcher that he was being held hostage and was going to be “put under” by people who were able to walk through the “5th dimension.” As the call progressed, Bachmann also stated there was “going to be something like 9/11,” and there was currently an invisible person in the backseat of his vehicle. Deputies from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office made contact with Bachmann near the Tampa Premium Outlet Mall. Bachmann told the deputies that the CIA was planning a politically motivated mass shooting at the mall. When deputies asked Bachmann if he was going to be the one committing the shooting, he indicated he didn’t know or hadn’t been told that yet.

The Pasco Sherriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a search warrant of Bachmann’s home and located several firearms that had been registered in the NFRTR. However, another firearm, an RAK15 AR-15 type rifle, was also located. This rifle had been modified to be able to house an automatic sear, making the firearm capable of being fired as a fully automatic weapon. ATF found no records for this weapon in the NFRTR, indicating Bachmann was unlawfully in possession of the device.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Newman.

A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.          

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


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