Clinton man charged in federal court on gun charges

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CLINTON (WKOW) — A Clinton man arrested during a raid Oct. 9 has been charged in federal court with illegally possessing firearms.

Austin L. Hedges, 24, Clinton, is charged with possessing firearms after previously being committed to a mental institution. The indictment alleges that on October 9, 2019, he possessed three handguns, three rifles, and a shotgun.

Hedges was charged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on October 9, 2019, with illegally possessing one firearm knowing he had previously been committed to a mental institution. He was arrested and made an initial appearance in federal court that day.  He was released from custody following a detention hearing on October 11.

According to prosecutors, Hedges appeared on social media video with an AR-15 at a June gay rights counter protest in Detroit.

Authorities say Hedges is a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman says Hedges is “…embracing the violent persona of the movement.”

Altman says FBI agents Wednesday seized an AR-15 and nine other guns from Hedges’s Clinton home.

If convicted, Hedges faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Clinton and St. Francis Police Departments; and Rock County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.

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