WINGDALE, N.Y. — President Donald Trump’s two grown sons arrived at this tranquil, rural upstate New York hamlet with a bang.
A company tied to Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump owns a 171-acre hunting preserve that is being used as a private shooting range, where the sound of rifle fire from a wooden tower and exploding targets has riled nearby residents, neighbours told The Associated Press.
One neighbour complained that it rattles the windows of his home; another said it ruins the serenity of the surrounding woods. A third confronted the property’s representative over the summer.
“It’s like you’re in a war zone,” said Elisabetta Berghold, who lives on 42 acres down the road from the Trumps’ land.
Neighbours said that while they knew there would be occasional rifle fire from deer hunting on the property, the thunderous noise from target practice on a stretch of land closest to other neighbours was unexpected and unwelcome.
“It’s bad. It shakes the windows,” said neighbour Mike Dougherty.
Four neighbours interviewed by the AP described the shooting. All said it had become less frequent in recent months but peaked on summer weekends.
The de facto shooting range is located on a strip of land on the easternmost border of the Trumps’ property, an easement that was cleared of trees years ago for an AT&T Inc. cable. A wooden tower on that stretch is visible from the public road.
The Trumps appear to have acquired the property via limited liability companies that contain some version of the property’s address in their names but do not reveal the Trumps’ connections. LLCs are often used to buy property or conduct business in ways that obscure the people behind the transactions.
The entity that purchased the land in 2013, Leather Hill Preserve LLC, lists its agent as a Manhattan company that provides registration services to LLCs across the country.
Incorporation records filed with the state show that the LLC’s articles of organization were filed by a Trump Organization executive based out of Trump Tower and that Trump Jr. designated himself in July 2013 as the company’s authorized person. In disclosure reports filed with New York City and obtained by the AP under a public records request, Trump Jr. lists himself as the owner of “DT Leather Hill Road LLC” and Eric Trump lists himself as the owner of “194 Leather Hill Road LLC.”
A money manager from Connecticut, Jeffrey Ferraro, is listed as the company’s organizer and in sales records as a representative for the LLC. He was a state delegate at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 and appears with Eric Trump in a photo posted on his Facebook page.
Neither the Trump Organization’s spokeswoman nor its general counsel acknowledged requests to discuss the property. An email to Trump Jr. about the property was not returned.
Berghold, an active Democrat and no fan of the president, said that after she confronted Ferraro on July 3, he apologized and said they would keep down the noise. She said when she confronted Ferraro about the shooting, he said that …read more