Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, Haddon Township Police Chief Mark Cavallo and The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Gun Task Force reported the arrest of a man for illegal possession of numerous firearms. The defendant has also been identified as a member of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, a federally recognized anti-government extremist group.
Gregory Gawrysiak, M/46, of the first block of Emerald Avenue in Haddon Township, was arrested Thursday morning at his home on charges of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of an Assault Firearm, and Possession of a Defaced Firearm. Other charges are pending from Pennsylvania authorities. He was being held in the Camden County Jail Thursday night on $500,000 bail.
Gawrysiak is an apprentice linesman for Amtrak. Amtrak representatives were on hand at the time of the defendant’s arrest.
In 2010 law enforcement obtained a firearm from Gawrysiak after he made threats to kill law enforcement officers. Criminal charges did not result in that incident, but Gawrysiak forfeited his firearms identification card and, with it, his ability to purchase new guns in New Jersey. Subsequent to that arrest, it was learned Gawrysiak was a subscriber to the philosophies of the Sovereign Citizens Movement, a school of thought which argues federal and state governments lack legitimate authority.
In fall 2012, The Prosecutor’s Office Homeland Security/Counter-Terrorism officer and Haddon Township Police were conducting research into the Sovereign Citizen Movement, learned of Gawrysiak’s involvement and decided to look more closely at his case. During a three-month investigation it was determined that the weapon obtained 2010 was an illegal assault firearm according to New Jersey statute. Further investigation revealed Gawrysiak had obtained a false Pennsylvania driver’s license last year by using a relative’s address and was continuing to purchase guns, illegally, in that state. The purchases appear to have been made in Pennsylvania in 2012.
During the arrest Thursday one weapon, a pistol, was found in Gawrysiak’s home on Emerald Avenue. The defendant’s relatives directed investigators to another handgun, a shotgun and a rifle belonging to the defendant but being kept at a residence in Mantua. It is alleged these weapons are the firearms bought illegally in Pennsylvania. All weapons were confiscated by law enforcement.
An investigation is ongoing into Gawrysiak’s activities.
The prosecutor credited the State Police Teams Unit with conducting the warrant execution Thursday morning and ensuring Gawrysiak was taken into custody safely and without incident.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.