ATF gets involved in Harlan County investigation into illegal immigrants

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

A case involving possible illegal immigrants, weapons and alcohol violations has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

On Aug. 24, Lynch and Benham police assisted the Alcohol Beverage Control agency in an investigation at the El Charrito Mexican restaurant in Cumberland.

Lynch Police Chief Mike Nunley said that they ended up learning more about possible suspects in a recent drive-by shooting in Lynch. Police said that several shots were fired in the neighborhood but nobody was hit.

“We had some information that came in that gave us some suspects we were following up on that investigation while we were there… As a result of that investigation, we obtained some statements which led us to some consensual searches of some residences,” said Nunley.

Nunley said that he could not comment on the amount, but several weapons were discovered inside of the homes located in the Harlan area.

“Some of them were assault style weapons and we do believe that the people who own those weapons are illegal immigrants,” Nunley said.

Officials said that the weapons were seized from the homes of individuals who were employed at the El charrito Mexican restaurant.

Nunley said it is a federal offense for illegal immigrants to possess firearms, so Nunley said that the ATF is getting involved.

“We spoke with ATF agents today and they are in the process of taking it over,” said Nunley.
“They are reviewing the case to see if federal charges will apply,” he added.

Nunley said Kentucky State Police, along with the Benham and Lynch Police Departments were all involved. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lynch Police Department at 606-848-2873.

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