A soldier with the National Guard was charged Oct. 21 with possession of an automatic weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.
New London police responded to a call in the area of Pearl and Pine streets on March 6. When they arrived, the officers found Tyler M. Barbiaux, 22, New London, in his car. He reportedly had just returned from a National Guard drill and was in uniform.
In Barbiaux’s car, police reported finding a DPMS Panther Arms M4 rifle. The weapon was not loaded and there was no ammo in the vehicle.
The rifle was sent to the state Crime Lab where investigators said it was capable of firing two or three shots with a single pull of the trigger. The weapon would also fire after the trigger was released, according to the criminal complaint.
Barbiaux reportedly told investigators that he did not intentionally modify the gun to make it automatic, but had attempted to repair the firing mechanism himself and needed another part.
A state firearm analyst reported that some of the parts had been filed or machined.
Barbiaux faces up to six years in prison if convicted of possession of an automatic weapon.