Bunger ordered released on bond [Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky.]
(Daily News (Bowling Green, KY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 21--A judge ordered Adam Bunger released on bond Friday pending the resolution of the federal weapons case against him, although a prosecutor asserted that Bunger's criminal conduct goes beyond what has already been alleged in a sworn complaint.
Bunger, 33, of Bowling Green, has been accused in court documents of shipping firearms in foreign commerce, shipping in foreign commerce a firearm with an obliterated serial number and delivering or causing delivery for shipment in foreign commerce to persons other than licensed individuals a package containing a firearm or ammunition without notice to the carrier.
He was arrested Tuesday after an investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Brent Brennenstuhl allowed Bunger to be freed on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Bunger's mother, Robin Spinks, will act as his third-party custodian.
ATF Special Agent David Hayes said in a criminal complaint that Bunger used aliases to ship disassembled firearms hidden within hollowed video game systems and other electronic items to foreign countries with strict gun regulations.
A package shipped from Bowling Green to Australia in June by "John Smith" was found to contain components of a 9 mm pistol concealed in an Xbox video game console, according to the complaint.
Australian authorities notified the ATF that postal authorities intercepted three parcels in July and August that had been destined for Australia, the United Kingdom and Sweden.
Two postal clerks shown a photo lineup identified Bunger as the man who tried to send the packages, which contained firearm components hidden within a video game system, a DVD player and a metal computer switching power supply box. One of the guns had the serial number removed, according to the complaint.
At a detention hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jo Lawless said Bunger had been selling guns since September 2012, finding customers via Black Market Reloaded, an online retailer that occupies a part of the Internet known as the "deep web," which can be accessed only by downloading software that protects a computer user's identity.
Lawless said that at one point Bunger had been receiving 100 private messages a day regarding sales of guns.
Lawless moved to have Bunger kept in jail while his case is pending, saying that the government anticipates bringing additional charges against him.
The prosecutor said Bunger is associated with posts on another online account that sold stolen credit cards, fake IDs, hacked PayPal account information, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and silver bouillon.
"He has no serious criminal history, but, man, he has gone from 0 to 100," Lawless said. "We do not often see these kinds of offenses committed by citizens of the commonwealth ... it's a little mind-boggling. He's involved in a level of criminality that we do not often see here."
To support her motion, Lawless argued that Bunger was a flight risk because he lacks steady employment and has few community ties other than relatives who live in the area.
Laura Wyrosdick, Bunger's court-appointed attorney, contested Lawless' assertion that Bunger made the posts on the online account that sold the drugs and other illicit goods and said that it had not been verified whether Bunger actually made the posts.
"I don't think that's enough to keep him in custody based on speculation when we don't know if it's the same person writing these messages," Wyrosdick said.
Wyrosdick said Bunger's mother agreed to act as third-party custodian and would allow Bunger to live with her if he were to be released on bond. Spinks testified that there were no weapons in her house and she would be willing to remove all computers from the house while Bunger was released on bond.
Spinks said she and Bunger had not been on good terms several months ago after an argument, but she said the argument was over "nothing serious."
Brennenstuhl said he did not believe Bunger posed a risk to the community based on the charges against him and ordered Bunger released after hearing from Spinks.
"I'm taking a chance with you that you won't take off on me," Brennenstuhl said to Bunger.
The judge ordered that there be no firearms, destructive devices or computers in the household, and Bunger is not to have access to computers, smartphones or other Internet-enabled devices. Bunger was also "strongly encouraged" by Brennenstuhl to get a job while he was out on bond.
-- Justin Story covers court news. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.
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