Just days after Judge Cadish unsealed the second person of interest, that person has been charged. Douglas Haig, an Arizona native, has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture and sell armor-piercing ammunition without a license. The charge carries up to five years in prison. This would be the first criminal charge place in relation to the Las Vegas Shooting.
According to a criminal complaint, the FBI determined that “two unfired cartridges bearing Haig’s fingerprints” were found in Paddock’s suite at Mandalay Bay, and the cartridges are classified as armor-piercing ammunition.
Court records show that a warrant for Haig’s arrest was issued Friday morning by a U.S. magistrate judge in Las Vegas.
Haig appeared in a Phoenix courtroom Friday afternoon, hours after holding a news conference with his lawyer, who told reporters he did not expect his client to face charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns released Haig on his own recognizance. He must remove all weapons, ammunition and related equipment from his home by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Haig told agents he reloads ammunition but does not offer reloaded cartridges for sale to his customers. He also said none of the ammunition recovered at Las Vegas crime scenes would have tool marks on them consistent with his reloading equipment.
“Reloaded ammunition refers to ammunition that is manufactured from component parts, including previously fired cartridge cases,” according to the complaint.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Haig’s home on Oct. 19 and seized over 100 items, according to the complaint.
“Laboratory analysis confirmed that some of the ammunition recovered during the search at Haig’s residence was in fact reloaded armor-piercing ammunition,” according to the document, which also alleges that the two .308-caliber cartridges found in Paddock’s suite with Haig’s fingerprints “had toolmarks consistent with the reloading equipment recovered in Haig’s backyard workshop.”
Charges finally came and perhaps we are only seeing these charges because of the documents that were unsealed revealing his name as a person of interest. Perhaps the public will find a scapegoat in Douglas Haig. But that would imply that the public is following the story as much as they should. With Trump, who has time to wonder about one of the most horrific crimes of our time? Whether Douglas Haig is guilty or not, it’s dangerous for the public to make him a scapegoat.
He is charged with a very limited crime, meaning he had no part in Stephen Paddock’s rampage. Again, Haig’s crimes are only alleged. Perhaps he can show reasonable doubt in court. Or it will get dropped in a plea deal. We don’t know and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions especially if we have limited knowledge of firearms like most of the media does. As always, innocent until proven guilty.