Police: Sussex County man illegally manufactured guns

Posted: Updated:
(Franklin Borough Police Department) Russell Watt (Franklin Borough Police Department) Russell Watt

A Sussex County man is accused of illegally making firearms, including some fully automatic guns.

Franklin Borough police say that they uncovered 10 semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons, which they say belonged to 38-year-old Russell Watt, of Hamburg. Police say that they believe that Watt was manufacturing them because none of the weapons had serial numbers.

"We want to know why.  We want to know why he had this array of weapons and what he was planning on doing,” says Franklin Borough Police Sgt. Nevin Mattessich.

Mattessich says that officers recovered M-16s, hand guns and long guns, all of various calibers.

“He also had several high-capacity magazines and various types of ammunition,” Mattessich says.

Police say that Watt was making the guns at his place of work at MJS Precision on Cork Hill Road in Franklin Borough. It is a metal production and welding company.  The property also houses other shops and yards and is located right across the street from the police station.

Phillip Barone is the owner of Poor Boy Trading, which shares the property. He says that he has employees working in the yard all the time.

“We’re essentially alone. It’s actually a very scary thought,” he says.

Watt did not have any paperwork or identification that allows him to purchase or sell firearms, according to police.

“There are certain firearms that no citizen or resident has business owning,” says Mattessich. “Like a machine gun.”

Watt faces 12 different weapons charges.  He is being held at the Sussex County Jail.

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