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Man’s effort to buy grenades blown up

Following a long-term investigation, Joshua Hedvat, 57, was arrested Monday around 2 p.m. after allegedly trying to buy the inert grenades from a police informant in Forest Hills, authorities said.That same day detectives executed a search warrant of Hedvat's apartment at 65-36 99th St. and found either a MAC-10 or MAC-11 machine gun with the serial numbers scratched off, three empty magazines and 149 .45-caliber bullets stuffed in a bag inside a closet, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney's office.Hedvat was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and attempted possession of a weapon and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. At the arraignment, Queen Criminal Court Judge Lenora Gerald ordered Hedvat held without bail, deeming the defendant -- a legal resident of the United States with dual citizenship in Israel and Iran -- a flight risk, the DA said. He was due back in court May 24.Hedvat's motivation for acquiring the grenades is unclear, but police suggested it could have stemmed from his feeling cheated after losing a decade-long legal battle in 1980s, in which Hedvat claimed to have been swindled out of a large amount of stocks. The DA said investigators found during their search a bank book in which Hedvat had written that he had a $67,000 mutual fund. It is uncertain whether that money does or ever did exist.It was also believed that Hedvat was particularly angry at U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), though police could not confirm whether any threats were ever made, police said."With the gun he had, if he had gotten a hold of real grenades he could've been a real problem," said Inspector John Philbin, of the 112th Precinct, where Hedvat was brought for questioning. "My guess is he didn't want them as collector items."Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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