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The general manager of Deep River's Tri-Town Plastics pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court Monday to violating federal firearms laws.
Robert Brinkerhoff, 54, of Old Lyme, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a theft/loss report and one count of making false statements in a theft/loss report. He faces up to a year in prison and a fine of $100,000 on each count when U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill sentences him on June 2.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Tri-Town Plastics has a contract with Smith and Wesson to manufacturer firearm frames. In February 2012, after the Plainfield Police Department seized a Smith and Wesson 9-mm handgun from a residence, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned that Smith and Wesson had no record of the handgun ever having been manufactured. A review of Tri-Town's records indicated that the handgun had been scrapped in March 2011.
Soon after ATF contacted Tri-Town in February 2012 to inquire about the Smith and Wesson handgun that was seized in Plainfield, one of the Tri-Town employees responsible for the fraudulent scrapping advised Brinkerhoff that 23 firearms had falsely been reported as scrapped. Brinkerhoff waited until June 2012 to report the missing firearms to the ATF. However, the report failed to advise ATF that all of the firearms had been falsely listed as scrapped in March 2011, according to the government.