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Prosecutors: ‘Ghost gun’ manufacturing operation raided

March 17, 2022 GMT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A man was running a “massive” so-called “ghost gun” operation from his mother’s house in Salem, Oregon, and distributing counterfeit pills made of fentanyl in exchange for other guns, prosecutors said.

Agents from the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, working with Salem police, seized 63 firearms from the home this week amid approximately 200 counterfeit oxycontin pills, suspected to be made from fentanyl and heroin, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Ghost guns are homemade firearms that lack serial numbers used to trace them and are often bought without a background check.

Tyler Ray Harnden was living in the basement of his mother’s home, authorities said.

On Thursday, he was indicted on two counts of fentanyl distribution, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute heroin, having a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm.

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Harnden has not made his first appearance in federal court yet and remains in custody in Marion County on a pending state charge. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel, chief of the office’s criminal division, said the investigation is “wide-ranging and ongoing.”

Law enforcement agents also seized thousands of rounds of ammunition from the home.