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East Hampton police say man and his grandfather possessed a trove of illegal weapons, including a fully automatic assault rifle

Weapons and ammunition recovered by East Hampton police. .
East Hampton Police
Weapons and ammunition recovered by East Hampton police. .

Police arrested an 18-year-old East Hampton man Monday on charges including one frightening attention grabber -- police allege Clayton Hobby possessed one AR-15 assault weapon that had been converted into a fully automatic machine gun.

Hobby was arrested Monday and charged with various other alleged crimes, including that he illegally possessed assault weapons, pistols, ammunition and high-capacity magazines. Police described him as the suspect. His grandfather, Kerry Schunk, was also arrested and charged with various conspiracy counts. They allege Schunk aided Hobby in his crimes.

“The most disturbing thing is how an individual could take a lower AR receiver, which is designed to shoot semi-automatic, and then with jigs and drill bits that are purchased over the internet, modify the weapon to shoot fully automatic,” said East Hampton Police Chief Dennis Woessner. “There was no indication that they were going to carry out an act with these firearms. But it is something that we’re looking into -- what were their plans to do with a fully automatic weapon?”

The state says Schunk has posted bond, but his grandson is still locked up. They’re both due back in court on June 14. Immediate efforts to reach attorneys for both men were unsuccessful.

Woessner said that also troubling was that these weapons were largely “ghost guns” -- meaning they were guns bought from kits online, fabricated at home, and without serial numbers. As a result, they’re untraceable.

“If that gun was to be used in a crime, there would be no way for law enforcement to trace that,” he said. “We are starting to see a lot of ghost guns, you know, in Connecticut and that's problematic for law enforcement.”

The chief encouraged people to report these types of crimes.

“This was reported to us by a concerned citizen, so you know the old adage, if you see something you don’t think is right, please say something,” he said. “Because, in this case, the person came forward and did say something, and it turned out that, you know, we were able to take a lot of illegal weapons, a lot of ammunition and a lot of high-capacity magazines out of the hands of two individuals that shouldn't have had these weapons.”

He added that this was beyond “the grandfather teaching the grandson how to make a birdhouse” and that investigators are still looking into who did what weapons modifications.

“We just know that they both played a part,” he said.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.

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