The Arizona man who sold ammunition to Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock was charged Friday with conspiring to manufacture and sell armor-piercing bullets without a license.
Douglas Haig’s fingerprints were found on unfired bullets in the hotel suite where Paddock launched the attack that killed 58, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Phoenix.
Mr. Haig allegedly doesn’t have a license to manufacture armor-piercing ammunition, according the complaint.
Mr. Haig appeared in federal court in Phoenix Friday afternoon and was released on bond. He could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An attorney for Mr. Haig didn’t respond to a request for comment. The charges came the same day that Mr. Haig held a press conference to say that he had no idea that Paddock was planning a massacre.
Mr. Haig said he sold Paddock 720 rounds of tracer ammunition, which leaves a visible trail when fired, in the month before the Oct. 1 attack.
“He said that he was going out to the desert and put on a light show with or for his friends,” Mr. Haig said.
Mr. Haig said the two met at a Phoenix gun show and Paddock later came to purchase ammunition from him. Mr. Haig, an aerospace engineer who had a side-business selling ammunition, said that nothing seemed awry during the September sale.
“At no time did I see anything suspicious or odd,” he said, describing Paddock as well-dressed, well-groomed and respectful.
“I had no way to see into his mind,” he said.
Investigators probing the deadliest mass shooting in modern history questioned Mr. Haig and considered him a person of interest. His name was made public this week when search warrants from the investigation were released publicly by a Las Vegas judge.
Mr. Haig said he didn’t believe that Paddock used the tracer ammunition in the attack.
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Dozens of people were killed when a shooter opened fire in October 2017 at a country music festival in Las Vegas from the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel. Photo: Getty Images (Originally published Oct. 2, 2017)
“You would’ve seen red streaks coming from the window,” Mr. Haig said, speaking of the 32nd-floor hotel room from which Paddock fired on a large outdoor crowd of people.
Mr. Haig said that when investigators contacted him and told him about the massacre, he was revolted and horrified.
“Probably one of the most horrible things I’d ever been told or heard of,” he said.
Mr. Haig said he has stepped away from the ammunition business for now.
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