NIAGARA FALLS — A man charged by police with operating a gun factory in his LaSalle neighborhood home was released from custody after an arraignment in City Court.
Alfred M. Bax, 33, 332 78th St., was jailed Monday after Police Narcotics & Intelligence Division detectives raided what was described as a “ghost gun manufacturing operation” inside his home. Bax was charged with one count of first-degree criminal possession of a weapon and 18 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all violent felonies under New York law.
Bax appeared in City Court on Tuesday for arraignment on the charges and entered a plea of not guilty. Chief City Court Judge Mark Violante set bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond for Bax.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Niagara County prosecutors confirmed that Bax had posted bail and was released from custody. Neither police nor prosecutors offered any immediate comment on Bax's release.
Officers with the Police Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant just after 10 a.m. Monday at Bax's home and found a cache of long guns and handguns. The weapons were what are commonly known as "ghost guns." The term typically applies to homemade or improvised firearms that are manufactured without commercial serial numbers, making the weapons almost impossible to trace.
Investigators said they recovered 13 handguns, nine rifles and three sawed-off shotguns. The rifles were described as primarily AR-15 style assault rifles.
AR-15s are among the most commonly produced ghost guns, while AK-47-style semi-automatic rifles are also popularly made as ghost guns.
Detectives also seized thousands of rounds of ammunition and other various gun parts ready to be assembled, along with a small amount of suspected cocaine.
Investigators said they took Bax into custody without incident.
The gun manufacturing took place inside a modest two-story residence in the LaSalle neighborhood. On Monday evening, several SUVs and a black pickup were visible in the driveway. The pickup had a sign with a vulgar reference to President Joe Biden hanging on its tailgate.
Neither police nor prosecutors could immediately offer any explanation why Bax was manufacturing guns or who the weapons may have been intended for. Police said their investigation of the operation was continuing.
Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman said there have been "communications" with federal law enforcement authorities about the case. However, Seaman said, he expects the case will "likely proceed in state courts."