BLACKSBURG, Va. — A Virginia Tech freshman has been charged with illegally possessing an assault weapon as a foreigner.

Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski told local media that Yunsong Zhao of China was arrested Monday. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of possessing an AR-15 assault weapon, which foreigners cannot have under Virginia law, and of trying to order 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

People on campus criticized the university for not alerting them about the arrest, which revived memories of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. But campus police said in a statement that there was no active threat.

Zhao’s lawyer, Jason Wolfrey, said his client never made any threats and there was never any danger to the Virginia Tech community.


Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com