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IRS investigating manufacturing business in St. Helens

Attorney says search warrant served for potential unpaid tax

Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - The building that houses Heller Enterprises and Tactical Ammunition on Milton Way in St. Helens, where Internal Revenue Service agents reportedly seized computers and records Friday, Nov. 14.Internal Revenue Service agents seized computers and records from Heller Enterprises, a St. Helens business, on Friday, Nov. 14, and the company is under criminal investigation, an attorney for the shop’s owner confirmed this week.

Rob Heller’s attorney, Wayne Mackeson, confirmed that a criminal investigation is underway and a warrant was served on the shop on Milton Way, for records related to the manufacture of ammunition, which is subject to an 11 percent federal excise tax.

Heller Enterprises manufactures and sells bearings for various mechanisms. The shop also houses Tactical Ammunition, an ammunition supply store that carries drums, magazines, ammunition and accessories for automatic weapons. Some of the ammunition sold through the shop is manufactured by the company.

Mackeson said there was a subpoena for “all records.”

“They took the servers, only because it was easier to copy the records that they’re required to keep, and then they brought the servers back this week,” he said. “The agents were very polite and professional when I met with them on Tuesday.”

Mackeson said Heller was out of the office on a hunting trip Friday when the warrant was served. He said federal special agents produced a warrant for the business, but Heller also consented to a search of a building at his home in Warren.

It is unclear whether IRS agents requested the records prior to serving the search warrant. Mackeson said he doesn’t think there was a request.

“If they would’ve called, we would’ve given them the records,” he said. “It seemed to me that the warrant was unnecessary.”

Initial reports on social media indicated the officials were from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss said his department had nothing to do with the reported raid, but confirmed that the officials were from the IRS.

Mackeson said he has yet to view the affidavit for the search warrant that was served.

For his part, Heller wouldn’t discuss the details of the IRS presence at his St. Helens shop, but he said it was “back open for business on Monday” after closing after when IRS agents showed up Friday.

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