A Centereach man was found not guilty Friday of all charges against him after he was indicted on illegal weapons possession following a raid where Nazi paraphernalia was also seized, authorities said.
Last June’s arrest of Edward Perkowski, 34, had been fodder for a Suffolk police news conference, but in court, the case unraveled because the jury did not believe detectives and their confidential informant, who turned out to be his former girlfriend, said defense attorney Matt Tuohy of Huntington.
A jury in Riverhead found him not guilty on eight counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
“They made my guy look really really bad and he was innocent,” Tuohy said. “He really suffered. Everyone thought he was a Nazi and he wasn’t.”
The district attorney’s office declined to comment. Other charges in the original 14-count indictment were dropped before the trial began three weeks ago in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, Tuohy said.
Suffolk police on June 16 raided a Mount Sinai house where Perkowski and his brothers lived and seized several guns, including assault rifles; between 3,000 and 5,000 rounds of ammunition; marijuana and scales; a binder containing bomb making instructions; and various Nazi paraphernalia and related books.
At the time, Suffolk police Commissioner Timothy Sini said authorities might have prevented a “deadly violent incident like the one we recently saw in Orlando,” referring to the Pulse club massacre that had happened in Florida just days before Perkowski’s arrest.
But Tuohy said the house was the home of his client’s brother, who owned the weapons and other items. Perkowski’s relatives had said the Nazi material belonged to his grandfather, a World War II veteran.
Tuohy said Perkowski, who owns an online military surplus business, also had more than $40,000 of his funds confiscated in the raid. “He wants to get his money back,” the attorney said, “and move on with his life.”