Christopher R. Fausett kept six illegal automatic weapons hidden in a second-floor bathroom at the East Hampton house he shared with his mother, East Hampton Town police said. He was released Saturday on a bond after he was arraigned on eight felony weapons charges, as well as two misdemeanors.
Fausett, who was arrested Friday after police, acting on a tip, executed a search warrant at his Wireless Road residence, The 57-year-old posted $1,000 towards a $10,000 bond following a video arraignment.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office had asked that bail be set at $50,000. During the virtual arraignment, East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky responded to assistant district attorney Lauren Golombek’s request by pointing out that while Fausett has had two prior arrests — back in 1999 and 2000 — he had never failed to make a court appearance. Those arrests were on drunken driving charges in Southampton and Sag Harbor Village.
Carl Irace, an East Hampton attorney who represented Fausett for the arraignment, said that a high bail could well be the equivalent of having him remanded, given that Fausett only works part time and supports his mother.
Tekulsky said that under the state’s bail reform act from last year, and given his ties to the community, Fausett was entitled to a bond for which he would only have to put up 10% of the total, and set a $10,000 bond figure.
The justice was the only official present in the courtroom for the arraignment. All others participated remotely, with Fausett appearing on Skype from police headquarters in Wainscott.
At the beginning of the arraignment, Tekulsky said that he was prepared to issue an order of protection at the request of the district attorney’s office. He did not specify who the court order would be designed to protect. Golombek said she would have to check with the aggrieved party, and she got off the Skype session. When she returned, she said that an order of protection would not be needed.
Police found 17 firearms inside Fausett’s house, seven being illegal. The first firearm police reported finding at 21 Wireless Road during their search, was an Italian-made Titan .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The loaded pistol was in Fausett’s bedroom closet on the first floor, police said.
It wasn’t until the detectives, aided by the Emergency Services Unit, searched the bathroom on the second floor, that they turned up an array of mostly foreign made weapons which police described as automatics.
Three of the automatic weapons police said they found are modeled after the Russian AK-47.
One of those three is, allegedly, a modified Russian Saiga 12-gauge shotgun. The Saiga seized by police has allegedly been modified with a pistol grip, and can accept multi-shell magazines, allowing the user to fire up to 20 times without reloading. Its import to the United States was banned by an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea.
The other two weapons police said the recovered in the bathroom are loosely based on the AK-47. They were Romanian-made CN Romarm rifles, both allegedly having a pistol grip with one of them having a second grip to be held by the non-shooting hand, for accurate rapid fire use.
Police also allegedly seized an Essential Weapons Company’s fully automatic KR-15, a German Sports Guns GSG 522 rifle, and a Beretta Cx4 Storm rifle with a thumbhole stock.
Each of the six weapons triggered its own felony charge. Fausett was also charged with felony second-degree weapons possession because he allegedly had five or more illegal firearms.
Detectives said Friday that more charges could possibly be added as the investigation continues.