A New Hyde Park man has been arrested for illegally possessing nine assault weapons and investigators are examining whether he planned to smuggle the guns out of the country, police said Monday.
Chandrakant Dhanak, 37, of North 6th Street, was arrested at his home Saturday at 8:40 p.m. and charged with nine counts of criminal possession of a firearm, police said Monday.
Dhanak, who is currently unemployed and did not have a previous criminal record, was arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead, police said. Bail was set at $5,000 bond or cash, records show.
It was unclear Monday whether Dhanak had an attorney.
Gabriel Garcia, deputy special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, speaking at a joint news conference with Nassau police in Mineola, said his agency got involved in the investigation “because of the potential of smuggling weapons.”
Nassau Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, commanding officer of the department’s Public Information Office, said Dhanak’s motive for possessing the weapons cache is unclear and both the department’s Major Offense Bureau and Homeland Security are continuing to investigate.
“At this time, it does not appear to be any type of immediate threat against the public,” said LeBrun.
Nassau police received an anonymous tip about a possible stash of weapons, and detectives from the Special Investigations Squad along with Homeland Security went to Dhanak’s home Saturday.
After Dhanak consented to a search, police said, detectives found nine assault weapons inside the house which is a violation of the Safe Act, a state gun regulation law.
Dhanak was arrested at his home at 8:40 p.m. Saturday, police said. Detectives also recovered 23 rifles and five handguns which Dhanak legally possessed, police said.
LeBrun said Dhanak was previously interviewed several years ago by Nassau police, but was determined to not pose a security risk. He would not specify what had prompted police to speak to Dhanak.