Iranian accused of stockpiling rifles, ammo in Ferndale

Iranian accused of stockpiling rifles, ammo in Ferndale »Play Video
Oliver King is depicted in this courtroom sketch.
SEATTLE -- There are more questions than answers in the case of a suspected international arms dealer caught in Washington state with a stockpile of sniper rifles.

Oliver King is an Iranian citizen who, in the past, has been a licensed gun dealer. King appeared in court in Seattle on Wednesday, accused of keeping a stash of guns and ammunition hidden in a storage unit near the U.S.-Canada border.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, King lied to enter the U.S. near Blaine last week. Agents with U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement became suspicious of King when he showed up at the border with a brand new passport, and a story about picking up his wife at Bellis Fair Shopping Mall in Bellingham.

Upon searching his car, agents found King's original passport, which has three visas for Iran and lists King's name as Hamid Malekpour.

Agents let King go, but followed him as he drove past the shopping mall and crossed the border into Oregon. King was seen entering an office building in McMinnville, which turned out to be a gun shop. Agents then watched as he loaded boxes into his car, and head back north on Interstate 5 to Ferndale.

At King's storage locker in Ferndale, agents found $30,000 worth of police-grade sniper rifles, handguns and ammunition.

King told investigators he is a hunter, but the U.S. Attorney's Office said the kind and number of weapons stockpiled don't support that claim.

King has been charged with making false statements to a government agent, and being an alien in possession of firearms.

He remains in federal custody until his next court date in a week.