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Second Suspect In Investigation Of Weapons Found In Storage Unit Could Be Set Free

Posted March 12, 2002

— Ten days ago, police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition in a storage unit. A suspect in the case could soon be set free.

A detention hearing was held Monday at the Federal Courthouse in Durham for David Silverman. Silverman and Michael McMoil lived in the same North Raleigh home with Silverman's mother. On the stand, ATF agents painted Silverman as a much more dangerous person than an earlier affadavit indicated.

Investigators have hinted all along there may be more weapons involved in last month's raid of two north Raleigh storage spaces than they originally let on. The ATF testified Silverman owned about 15 to 20 weapons besides the ones displayed at a press conference a week ago.

In February, police searched McMoil's storage unit in Raleigh and found a number of guns and maps. McMoil committed suicide after being confronted by police officers.

ATF agents said in court that the night they searched McMoil's storage space, Silverman, or some of his friends, went to his space just down the road and removed more than a dozen other assault rifles and guns, which were later recovered in Granville County.

Judge William Webb decided Monday to release Silverman, even though the ATF said several people feared for their lives if he knew they cooperated with the government against him.

Webb believed Silverman's contention that he needs to take care of his mother, who lives alone. Webb said for that reason, Silverman does not appear to be a flight risk.

The federal government is appealing the judge's decision. If Silverman is released, he will be placed under electronic surveillance and will not be able to leave Wake County.

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