Indian-American doctor found with $1 mn arms cache awaits trial

March 13th, 2009 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 13 (IANS) No date has been set for the trial of an Indian-American doctor found with more than $1 million worth of machine guns and grenades in a raid at his home in Arkansas.
Denying Randeep Singh Mann bail pending his federal trial, US Magistrate H. David Young in Little Rock said he was unconvinced the accused would remain in the country if freed on bond.

Young said he didn’t have an accurate account of Mann’s “financial wherewithal” and that the doctor has “contacts outside the country that would make it much easier… to flee”.

Mann’s attorney said he may appeal the ruling.

The 50-year-old Mann, an immigrant from India who has become a naturalised US citizen, is charged with possessing unregistered weapons.

Federal agents searching his home March 4 found 110 guns and grenades. The raid took place after public works employees found 98 grenades buried about 875 feet from Mann’s house in the woods. The weaponry ranged from M-16s to a tripod-mounted .50-caliber sniper weapon.

Prosecutors said the grenades are designed for firing from military rifles equipped with launchers. Mann legally owns two launchers, but possession of high-explosive rounds is illegal.

Agents also found $48,000 in cash at his home. Mann made about 60 trips in and out of the country over a two-year period, officials said. His father made 160 trips across the US border in the last two years, they alleged.

Pistols and semi-automatic weapons were found throughout the house. These included loaded pistols in the bedroom and machine guns on the floor and in closets and safes. They also found an estimated 500,000 rounds of small arms ammunition.

The prosecution said that his father, Colonel Kuldip Singh Mann, is an international arms dealer, a charge the defence attorney Blake Hendrix refuted.

Mann, an internal medicine specialist, has earlier faced disciplinary action from the state medical board for writing prescriptions to patients with drug abuse problems.

Mann surrendered his permit to write prescriptions for many controlled substances in 2006. Last year, he wrote to the medical board saying that he was unable to work for hospitals without the permit.

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