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Authorities: Springfield Man, 57, Made Assault Rifle, Possessed Explosives

Thomas Locker
Thomas Locker Photo Credit: Burlington County Prosecutor's Office

A 57-year-old man from Springfield Township has been charged with illegally manufacturing an assault weapon and possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines, silencers and explosive devices, authorities said.

Thomas Locker manufactured the main components of an AR-15 assault rifle in his home in Springfield, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a statement.

Alexander Kovalik, 72, who resided with Locker at the same Springfield address, was charged, the prosecutor said, but later released.

“Gun violence has been a major problem throughout the country this summer, and it will not be tolerated here in Burlington County,” Coffina said in a press statement. “A lot of firepower was seized as a result of this investigation. We have taken these dangerous weapons out of circulation where they could have caused substantial harm to the public.”

Law enforcement authorities seized numerous firearms, some without serial numbers, along with prohibited devices such as silencers and extended magazines, and tools and equipment to manufacture and modify firearms and explosives, the prosecutor said.

Three explosive devices, also believed to be manufactured by Locker, were seized when officials executed a search warrant at his Springfield residence, Coffina said.

Locker was being held in Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in New Jersey Superior Court, Coffina said.

Kovalik was released, the prosecutor's statement said.

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