DETROIT (AP) — An internet domain has been seized as part of an international arms trafficking investigation into gun silencers from China, federal authorities in Detroit said Monday.
Visitors to lafoauto.com will find a seizure notice bearing law enforcement shields, according to Homeland Security Investigations.
More than 350 suppressors seized by law enforcement across the county were purchased from the website and smuggled into the United States from China as automotive parts.
Images on the website resembled firearms components but were advertised as components for vehicles, authorities said in a release.
Silencers also are known as suppressors. They reduce the sound and muzzle flash from gunshots. They are illegal to buy or possess in many states without a proper license.
“This website, operated from China, blatantly disregarded our customs laws, smuggled illegal silencers into our country, and placed the American public at risk,” said Vance Callender, Homeland Security special agent in charge for Michigan and Ohio.
Homeland Security uses court orders to redirect suspect websites to those controlled by the agency, which then posts banners with public service announcements warning consumers against purchasing illegal goods.