A summer intern at the U.S. attorney's office here was arrested two weeks ago for bringing to work an unlicensed 9mm machine gun with 15 rounds of ammunition.

Richard Nam Wang, 25, who attends American University Law School, had the weapon in a restricted area at the U.S. attorney's office on Aug. 3, court documents say.

Wang's briefcase containing the weapon was left unattended at the office at 555 Fourth St. NW. An employee of the prosecutor's office who looked inside saw what was later identified as a 9mm Springfield Armory P-9C, the documents said.

It is not clear what Wang was doing with the weapon, which under the District's criminal code is classified as a machine gun because it shoots more than 12 rounds without reloading.

Wang declined to comment yesterday, saying he had not been able to reach his attorney. The attorney, Robert Feeney, could not be reached for comment.

An arrest warrant was issued for Wang, 25, and he turned himself in to police Aug. 6. He was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, carrying a pistol without a license, and carrying an unregistered firearm and ammunition.

Wang, one of several unpaid summer interns who perform research and other tasks, was suspended from his summer job the day the weapon was found, said Judy Smith, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney.

Because Wang worked in the office, the federal prosecutor has recused himself from the case, and it will be handled by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, Smith said.

The offices of the U.S. attorney have metal detectors, but employees carrying identification are not normally required to pass through them.