A firearms specialist, whose Woodbridge home was damaged in an explosion last month, has been fired by the Drug Enforcement Administration after authorities reported finding missing government weapons in his house, officials said yesterday.
The explosion and fire occured at the home of Richard (Hook) Traylor, a retired District of Columbia policeman who worked as a DEA firearms instructor. Investigators discovered what they described as "an arsenal" of 119 firearms and other explosive materials in Traylor's four-bedroom house. Both Traylor and his wife were injured in the May 14 incident.
According to a DEA spokesman, Traylor was discharged May 25 - three days before he completed his first year at his $19,263-a-year DEA job. He was still a probationary employe at the time, the spokesman said.
Traylor's dismissal followed an investigation by the federal agency's office of internal security. "It was determined that some of the firearms found at his home were DEA firearms that were missing," the spokesman said.
The weapons, which included an M-14 submachinegun, had not been checked out and were regarded as stolen, according to DEA officials.
An investigation of possible criminal violations of U.S. firearms laws is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, federal authorities said yesterday.
Traylor referred questions about his dismissal and the federal investigation to his lawyer yesterday. His lawyer, Quinlan H. Hancock, said, "I wouldn't be at liberty to make any comment."
Investigators found weapons whose serial numbers had been wholly or partly removed in Traylor's home, informed sources said yesterday. One law-enforcement official said that a number of firearms found in the building were marked as property of the D.C. police department.
Traylor, who was described as a gun collector who liked to prepare his own ammunition, suffered second-degree burns over 30 percent of his body in the fire and explosion, which knocked out a wall of his home.