ROSWELL, N.M. -- It sits behind a 6-foot-tall fence on an old airfield at the edge of town, cluttered with abandoned planes and a series of bunkers. Signs warning "Restricted Area" are posted every few feet.
Even though it's been in Roswell for four years, High Energy Access Tools Corp. is something of a curiosity in a town that has become synonymous with strange goings-on and official secrecy.
"We really don't know much about the company," said Shawn Hughes, CEO of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce.
HEAT, as the training center is called, actually helps law enforcement: It trains anti-terrorism units and police emergency response teams, including the city police department's own SWAT team.
The company found itself on the opposite side of the law last week when its president, David Hudak, was jailed on charges of possessing more than 2,300 unregistered warheads for shoulder-launched missiles.
Officials say the case does not involve accusations of terrorism and that students at the training center, including some from the United Arab Emirates, are not suspected of wrongdoing.
Roswell, a town of about 45,000 in southeast New Mexico, is best known for a purported crash of a UFO in 1947. The Air Force has long contended the wreckage found in the desert outside of town was a high-altitude balloon.
Roswell, which was featured in "The X-Files," also is the title of a television series about alien teens. Several books have been written about the community and it is home to an annual UFO festival that draws tens of thousands of fans.
Roswell Mayor Bill Owen, who has visited HEAT several times, said he knew of at least one instance in which members of the city police department's SWAT team trained there.
"It's certainly disappointing that some activities that have taken place (there) may have been of an illegal nature," he said.
Prosecutors have asked that Hudak be held without bond because he is a Canadian citizen accused of being in the United States illegally, making him a flight risk. Hudak has a bond hearing in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday.
He was charged in Canada in 1997 with unsafe storage of explosives and possession of prohibited weapons. He pleaded guilty to the possession charge and careless handling and storage of a firearm and was sentenced to probation.
Brian Bewley, program manager for HEAT, said the site, including the warheads, had been inspected a few weeks ago by a regional agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who found no problems.
"We were baffled as to why suddenly it was a concern," Bewley said. "As far as anybody knew, we were in full compliance."
Hudak's wife, Leslie, has said her husband's plight came about after an employee who had been recently dismissed sought revenge.
Frank Fish, HEAT's director of security, said the cone-shaped warheads, which are 3- to 4 inches long and weigh about a quarter-pound each, have been on the property since 1999. They have been included in HEAT's inventory, he said.
Fish said the warheads failed to meet military standards and that Hudak acquired them for his parent company, Hydro Cut Technologies in North Vancouver, B.C., before shipping them to the United States. He said Hudak may have considered using the warheads to make way for road construction at an open range used for training 70 miles west of Roswell.
Bewley said HEAT gives special training for military and law enforcement in dealing with explosives and tactical maneuvers. "We have trained organizations from 42 different countries" that are U.S. allies, he said. Fish also said HEAT has trained 600 U.S. law-enforcement agencies.
Fish said HEAT held an open-house in July and has cooperated fully with federal agents during inspections and in last week's arrest. "We even helped repair some of their weapons while they were here," he said.
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