Home»Commentary»How Many Prosecutions For Illegally Owned Suppressors Happen in the USA?

How Many Prosecutions For Illegally Owned Suppressors Happen in the USA?

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Very few people are prosecuted for the illegal possession of silencers/suppressors in the United States.

One of the problems in understanding the U.S. criminal justice system is records are dispersed. Records are kept in many different formats, and not easily searchable or sortable by offense. There are both federal and state crimes. The data is not all digitized. When it is, it is not all in searchable databases available to the public.

In an academic paper, Criminal Use of Firearm Silencers, written by Paul Clark and published in 2007, the number of prosecutions appears to be very low. From westerncriminogy.org:

Perhaps a question to ask is how many people by comparison misuse silencers each year. As will be discussed below, there only appear to be about 30 federal prosecutions involving silencers each year, and it is very unlikely that there are more than 200 state and federal prosecutions per year involving silencers. It is possible that there is much more illegal use going on which is not prosecuted, but these numbers certainly suggest that silencers are a minor law enforcement problem.

By comparison, there were about 663,000 arrests for marijuana, (610,000 for possession) in 2018, the lowest in the last 20 years.

In an attempt to determine the number of prosecutions for silencer possession, a number of searches on the Internet have been done to find out in what circumstances prosecutions for illegal silencer possession occurs.  Readers are encouraged to add to the list so that greater understanding will be effectuated. The following 32 cases are those found, beginning in 2015. Not all have been adjudicated. Many are simply arrests.

The cases are displayed in chronological order, so duplication may be prevented. The date is the date of arrest when known. Otherwise, the date referenced in the article is used.  In some cases, information was obtained from court documents available on Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).  PACER has federal court records. State case records are in separate systems.

Here are summations and links to the 32 cases found:

Justin Moreira, 21 felon in possession of silencer and firearm 2 April 2015 controlled delivery, Hyannis, Ma.

BOSTON – A Hyannis man was charged today in federal court with purchasing a firearm and silencer on a “Darknet Market” website, which provides anonymity to users to buy and sell illegal goods.

Justin Moreira, 21, was arrested today and charged in a criminal complaint with one count of being a felon in possession of the firearm and silencer. According to court documents, Moreira has a previous felony conviction in Barnstable County in 2013 for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Joel Montgomery, 50, 2015 June, Ohio, execution of search warrant, silencer not registered to him. Not returning government property. 

 DAYTON – A former military subcontractor was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release for illegally possessing a firearm silencer and equipment that was property of the United States.

Joel Montgomery, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts in December 2019: possessing a silencer not registered to him and retaining United States property with a value of more than $1,000.

According to court documents, in June 2015, Montgomery possessed at his home a firearm silencer that was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

While executing another search warrant at his home in October 2015, agents discovered an AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System and a Control Countermeasures Set Display Unit that were property of the United States.

John Wesley Smith, 40 Jonesville LA possessing an unregistered silencer, March 3, 2016,  1 September first contact, 2015 six months later, searched home and found three more silencers.  He was let go the first time.

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Jonesville man was sentenced Wednesday to one year and one day in prison for possessing a silencer.

John Wesley Smith, 40, of Jonesville, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of possessing an unregistered firearm (a firearm silencer, firearm muffler and suppressor). He was also sentenced to one year of supervised release. According to the June 30, 2016 guilty plea, Louisiana State Police officers were surveilling a house in a Jonesville neighborhood on September 1, 2015 while working another investigation. State police observed Smith enter the home and confronted him when he emerged. While accompanying Smith to his vehicle to retrieve his identification, the officer saw an M4 rifle with a scope, silencer and large capacity magazine placed barrel down in the front seat. When asked about the weapon, Smith told the officers he made the silencer from parts of an old boat. Silencers and silencer parts are defined as firearms according to federal law and are required to have serial numbers and be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The illegal silencer Smith possessed was not registered and had no serial number. Officers seized the M4 rifle with the silencer, and they told Smith that silencers must be registered and have a serial number. When Smith was arrested on March 3, 2016 at his home, agents found methamphetamine and marijuana in Smith’s pants pocket along with a 22 caliber pistol strapped to his ankle. During a search of Smith’s property, agents also found three more homemade, illegal, unregistered silencers on a workbench in a shed.

Jonathan Hayes Delville LA Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area, possession of unregistered silencer June 1, 2016, 27 months in prison.

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that a Deville man was sentenced Tuesday to two years and three months in prison for possessing a silencer that had not been registered.

Jonathan Hayes, 32, of Deville, Louisiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of receipt or possession of an unregistered firearm. He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release. According to the April 16, 2018 guilty plea, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents arrested Hayes on June 1, 2016 in the Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area. Agents found him in possession of a Ruger .22 caliber rifle, a Savage .22 caliber rifle and a firearm silencer. The silencer, which is a firearm under federal law, had no manufacturer’s mark of identification or serial number. The silencer was not registered in the National Firearms and Transfer Record.

Nebraska.tv Silencer Manufacturer, had possession of an unregistered silencer, but poor records. 2017 August 24 Holdrege Nebraska.

HOLDREGE, Neb. — A Holdrege man has been sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of possession of an unregistered silencer.

Joseph L. Melton, age 31, will have two years of supervised release after his time served.

 Robert Reid Taylor 2017, September 7, Sulphur LA not registered, no markings or serial no.

LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Sulphur man pleaded guilty Wednesday to possessing a silencer.

Robert Reid Taylor, 46, of Sulphur, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm silencer. According to the guilty plea, Taylor was found with an unregistered firearm silencer on September 7, 2017. The silencer had no manufacturer’s markings or serial number. It was also not registered in the National Firearms and Transfer Record.

Taylor faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods

Alan Alfredo Garcia, 23, Possession of unregistered silencers, Search of Residence, Project Safe Neighborhoods Stockton, CA. 2017 before October

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Alan Alfredo Garcia, 23, of Stockton, charging him with possession of unregistered silencers, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers found two firearms silencers during a search of Garcia’s residence. The silencers were not registered to Garcia in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required under federal law.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Stockton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Spencer is prosecuting the case.

Carl Martin Ross, felon in possession, 2017 October 7 Theft and Meth investigation. Warrant search. Homemade suppressor from Maglite. Recovered over $100,000 in stolen property

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Carl Martin Ross, Jr., age 53, of Stonewall, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release for Felon In Possession Of Firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2); and for Possession Of Unregistered Silencer, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5861(d), 5841, 5845(a) and 5871. Ross was found guilty after a non-jury trial on August 28, 2018. The verdict and sentence was the result of an investigation by the Pontotoc County Sherriff’s Office, the Pushmataha County Sherriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Bernandino Gawala Bolatete Jacksonville, FL, an undercover sting operation 27 November 2017 FBI, conspiracy for mass murder. Bolatete did not have long to live. He decided to take out Muslims.

Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Bernandino Gawala Bolatete (69, Jacksonville) with knowingly receiving and possessing a silencer not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

According to the criminal complaint, on November 27, 2017, Bolatete asked for assistance in purchasing a firearm silencer from an undercover detective from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Bolatete specified that, to avoid government scrutiny, he did not want any paperwork associated with the sale. On December 1, 2017, Bolatete took possession of a silencer after the undercover detective sold it to him for $100 and he was subsequently arrested.

Joseph W. Aarnes 6 June, 2018, stolen silencer Spokane Wa.

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Joseph W. Aarnes, age 38, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on July 16, 2019, to possession of a stolen firearm. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Aarnes to a 92-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on June 6, 2018, Aarnes was arrested by the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC). Two days later, a third party notified DOC that there was a firearm “silencer,” also known as a suppressor, among Aarnes’ personal belongings at a residence. After obtaining consent to search the residence, officers seized a Gemtech, model Outback 2d, silencer. Investigators determined the silencer had been reported stolen. Under federal law, a “silencer” is considered a firearm.

(snip)

https://www.justice.gov/ag/project-guardian-memo-2019/download.

Lopez de Tirado, silencers, grenade, unregistered 9mm short-barreled rifle former attorney, officer, drunk Los Angeles California 21 December, 2018.

On December 21, 2018, law enforcement found Lopez de Tirado asleep and apparently intoxicated in the passenger’s seat of a pickup truck that was parked with its doors wide open and blocking a driveway in Norco.

Upon searching the vehicle, law enforcement found two unregistered firearm silencers, including one that was attached to a semiautomatic rifle; an unregistered 9mm semiautomatic short-barreled rifle; and an unregistered hand grenade.

Law enforcement also found high-capacity magazines, ammunition, knives, a baton, brass knuckles, a Kevlar military-style helmet, and small bags containing marijuana and methamphetamine. That same evening, officers located enough bomb-making materials inside Lopez de Tirado’s home to construct several more homemade bombs.

Christopher Hasson 2019 February 15, possession of an unregistered silencer and unassembled silencer

Greenbelt, Maryland –Christopher Paul Hasson, age 50, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Maryland to four federal charges, including unlawful possession of unregistered silencers, unlawful possession of firearm silencers unidentified by serial number, possession of firearms by an addict to and unlawful user of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance. Hasson was arrested on related charges on February 15, 2019, and has been detained since his arrest.

Leng Lee Springfield MO, possession silencer, full auto, Leng Lee, Felon in possession.   Package from China addressed to Leng Lee 23 April 2019

Leng Lee, 35, was charged in a three-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday, June 12. The superseding indictment replaces an indictment returned on May 7, which charged Lee with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The federal indictment charges Lee with one count of illegally possessing a device designed to convert a semi-automatic Glock-type pistol into an automatic machine gun, and one count of illegally possessing an unregistered silencer. The indictment also contains the original count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The indictment alleges that Lee was in possession of a Glock 10mm pistol, two Glock 9mm pistols, and numerous rounds of ammunition.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers participated in the controlled delivery of an international mail package from China addressed to Lee at his residence on April 23, 2019. The parcel contained seven parts (selector switches) that are used to convert a Glock semi-automatic pistol to fire in full-automatic mode.

Brett Scott Meana from Newton Iowa, possessing unregistered silencer Homemade silencer, 2019, May 19  guilty plea on silencer After Domestic Disturbance , Project Guardian

A man who cut off his GPS ankle monitor while on release after pleading guilty to unlawfully possessing a silencer was sentenced January 6, 2020, to more than two years in federal prison.

Brett Scott Meana, age 44, from Newton, Iowa, received the prison term after a May 28, 2019 guilty plea to possessing an unregistered silencer.

Police were called to Meana’s residence following a domestic disturbance at his residence, during which he held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself, later admitting he did not intend to kill himself, he just wanted a woman that was present to stop talking and judging him. Police found an unregistered silencer at Meana’s residence that he had made himself previously. Evidence at the sentencing hearing showed that after pleading guilty to possessing the unregistered silencer, Meana cutoff his GPS ankle monitor during June 2019. Meana left the ankle monitor, his wallet, and phone on the side of the road. He disappeared and was not heard from again for over a month. He finally made contact with his family and was picked up in a field near Des Moines.

Joshua Barrington, 43, from  sacramento.cbs.local.com Lodi California, 2019, July 16, Search warrant by locals on tip of weapons violations. Homemade silencer

LODI (CBS13) – A man is under arrest and facing multiple weapons charges after investigators discovered a stash of illegally configured guns in Lodi. Lodi police say officers served a search warrant along the 500 block of S. Crescent Avenue on Monday. Investigators say they were tipped off about multipole possible weapons violations at the residence.

Khou.com Rick Montealvo, 28 bad conduct discharge, 5 Sept 2019  5 September 2019 Traffic stop, possession of a silencer. He had 12 outstanding Houston warrants. Traffic stop, no license plate, doors open, consent search.  Mental case.

HOUSTON — A man who served as a U.S. Marine was arrested after police say he was found with an unregistered gun suppressor, or silencer, and a paper referring to school shootings.

Rick Montealvo, 28, is charged with felony offense of possessing a prohibited weapon, court documents state

Houston police say officers were patrolling the area of North Shepherd and Victory early Thursday when they saw a green F-150 truck without a license plate in the rear.

Kevin Martin Gentry, Canton Mississippi, 2019, October 9, aggravated assault, home invasion with knife, then got warrant to search vehicle, found silencer and short-barreled rifle. 38 years old, 23 months for unlawful possession of a silencer.

Gulfport, Miss. – Kevin Martin Gentry, 38, of Canton, Mississippi, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to 23 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for unlawful possession of a firearm silencer not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

On October 9, 2019, in Long Beach, Mississippi, police responded to a report of an aggravated assault in progress at a local apartment. Officers made contact with the defendant, Kevin Martin Gentry, who was armed with a knife. Gentry was disarmed and detained. Further investigation revealed that Gentry had initiated the altercation by forcing himself into the apartment residence displaying a knife. Long Beach Police officers located Gentry’s vehicle parked near the crime scene, and detectives were granted a search warrant from Long Beach Municipal Court. During execution of the search warrant, police found a short-barreled rifle with a silencer.

Iszaizah Goodwin 42, Concord New Hampshire., Illegal possession, Project Safe Neighborhoods. 17 Oct, 2019

CONCORD – Isaiah Goodwin, 42, of Concord, pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing a firearm silencer that was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Goodwin purchased the silencer on a website and received it at his home in Concord. The ATF seized it during a search of his residence. The silencer was not registered, as required, in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Goodwin is scheduled to be sentenced on January 30, 2020.

Jason Bean, the latimes.com: 2019, November 12, Drunk, passed out, volunteered information.

Bean told the deputy that he had a firearm in the truck. The deputy found a bolt-action rifle under the backseat with a “large silencer attached to the barrel,” the officer said. Bean said he used the rifle to hunt deer to feed his children and that the silencer was to keep it quiet.

Upon further search, the officer found a business check inside McCloud’s purse that didn’t belong to her. The deputy spoke to the owner of the check, who told him that it was stolen out of a mailbox in Geyserville during the Kincade fire evacuation. The blaze started Oct. 23, burning almost 78,000 acres and destroying 374 structures. It prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.

Bean was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and possession of a silencer. McCloud was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property.

John E. Carter, 39, from cpso.com Lake Charles, Louisiana, 2019 December, 19 and Lakeyta S. Carter 34 Homemade silencer Investigation of burglaries and search warrant from same

On December 19 the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vehicle Crimes Investigation Unit (VCIU) detectives arrested convicted felons, John E. Carter, Jr., 39, and Lakeyta S. Carter, 34, both of 615 Lebleu Road in Lake Charles after an investigation revealed they were illegally in possession of numerous firearms as well as a homemade suppressor (silencer).

During an investigation into several vehicle burglaries that occurred in the Lake Charles area VCIU detectives received information that possibly stolen firearms were being taken to a home at 615 Lebleu Road in Lake Charles; the home of John and Lakeyta. After further investigation detectives obtained a search warrant for the Carter’s residence. On December 19 when detectives along with the CPSO C.A.T. Team (Combined Anti-Drug Task Force) and ACT-Team (Anti-Crime and Tactical Team) executed the warrant they located 3 AR-15 rifles and 5 pistols along with a homemade suppressor inside a concealed container that was buried in the backyard of the residence. Inside the home detectives also located 2 pistols hidden inside the fireplace. The Carter’s were also found to be in possession of Promethazine.

Jeffery Irvine, eastbaytimes.com Bethel Island, CA, raid 2019 December 27 Attempted purchase of silencers through the mail. State Armed prohibited person (California special unit). Bailed out with a $240,000 bail.

BETHEL ISLAND — Task force agents raided a residence Thursday and seized assault rifles, handguns, rifles, magazines, ammunition and a silencer, authorities said Friday.

Agents arrested 57-year-old Jeffery Irvine in the raid, which authorities said was the culmination of a month-long investigation by the Contra Costa Anti-Violence Support Effort task force. The raid happened at a residence in the 2000 block of Taylor Road, authorities said.

A member of the team from the Pittsburg Police Department received information from the state Armed Prohibited Persons System that a resident in Bethel Island had registered firearms in his name despite being prohibited, spokesman Jimmy Lee of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office said.

Irvine is suspected of manufacturing an assault rifle; possession of an assault rifle; being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm; being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, possession of a ghost gun and illegal transfer of a firearm.

Christopher Kiss, Felon made silencers and machineguns, Project Guardian    Not much background Tulsa Oklahoma. plead guilty on Jan 13, 2020

A 30-year-old Tulsa man was sentenced in U.S. District Court today for firearms charges, including illegally possessing and manufacturing machine guns and silencers, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Christopher Joseph Kiss to 37 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. On Jan. 13, 2020, Kiss pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, illegal possession of a machine gun, making unregistered machine guns and silencers, and possession of unregistered silencers.

Brian Richard Sanders Laurel MS 2020 Jan 17  Homemade :

Hattiesburg, Miss. – Brian Richard Sanders, 66, of Laurel, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, to the unlawful possession of an explosive destructive device not registered in the national firearms registration and transfer record, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent-in-Charge Kurt Thielhorn with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Sanders is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Starrett on November 18, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

On January 17, 2020, the ATF and the Jones County Sheriff’s Office received information that Sanders had manufactured and possessed an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in his home in Laurel. The Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for his home. ATF agents and members of the City of Biloxi Police Department Bomb Squad assisted in the search. Agents seized a pipe bomb, two bottles of black powder, a roll of red hobby fuse, several firearms, and ammunition. Additionally, they found a rifle that had what appeared to be a silencer attached.

Lawrence P. Turbett, patch.com  New Jersey, 26 February 2020 Crime suppression unit found silencers, counterfeit cash.

BRICK, NJ — A Brick Township man is under arrest after authorities seized silencers and a “large amount” of counterfeit money from his apartment in on Tuesday, Brick police said Wednesday.

Lawrence P. Turbett, 71, has been charged with four counts of possession of a prohibited device and is being held in the Ocean County Jail, Brick Capt. Keith Reinhard said.

Authorities were alerted that a package containing a silencer was being shipped to an address in Brick, Reinhard said. On Tuesday detectives from the Street Crimes Unit and agents from Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at the George Conway Towers housing complex at 165 Chambers Bridge Road.

 The search turned up the package containing the silencer, and additional types of firearms suppressors, he said. Authorities also found a large amount of counterfeit U.S. currency and notified the U.S. Secret Service.

Aaron Leshe, The eagle.com College Station Texas, 2020, 27 February, Silencer and machine gun on warrant search Meth and Marijuana dealer, and felon in possession.

A man on parole in College Station was arrested this week after police say they discovered narcotics, an illegal machine gun and silencer in his possession.

According to College Station police, shortly before noon Tuesday officers executed a search warrant on a unit at a self-storage facility on Texas 6. There, they spoke with 37-year-old Leslie Aaron Leshe, who was detained. Inside the unit, police said they found a fully automatic rifle, which is classified by the state as an illegal machine gun. They also located a suppressor for the weapon and drug paraphernalia, a report notes.

Charles Brent Justice, Taskandpurpose.com, Kirkland AFB NM, possession of unregistered silencers, importation of silencer. 2020 March 19

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A U.S. airman assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base is in federal custody after military investigators searching his KAFB residence found a cache of 17 firearms, two silencers, large amounts of ammunition, bomb-making instructions and photos of rifle magazines with the names of mass shooters written on them.

Investigators said in a criminal complaint that Senior Airman Charles Brent Justice, 27, could be a “threat to the general public.”

Justice formally has been charged with possessing a silencer and unlawful importation of a firearm — the silencer he allegedly ordered from a Chinese company.

 Darick Nollett, 30 Heislerville, NJ 2020, May 29 Fuel Filter, unregistered Felon in possession project Guardian

CAMDEN, N.J. – A New Jersey man with a prior felony conviction was charged today with unlawfully possessing dozens of firearms, including handguns, rifles, a silencer, ammunition, and high-capacity magazines, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Darick Nollett, 30, of Heislerville, New Jersey, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and one count of knowingly receiving and possessing a firearm that was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Nollett is expected to make his initial appearance by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider in Camden federal court.

Michael LeRose, June 9, 2020, had a homemade silencer, charged for possession of firearms

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that Michael LeRose, 32, of Nitro, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. 

LeRose previously pled guilty and admitted that on June 9, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on his residence. Inside they recovered a .22 caliber rifle, a 5.56 mm caliber semi-automatic rifle, two 9mm handguns, two AM-15 rifle receivers, and a full auto conversion kit for a semi-automatic rifle. They also recovered assorted ammunition, a homemade silencer, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.  A tactical vest also was found in a separate search of his car. LeRose acknowledged that his addiction to drugs prohibited him from possessing firearms, as he was a user of multiple illegal narcotics.

Dustin Conn and Miles Smith, from nbc16.com 10 June 2020 Four men arrested, felon in possession, Meth, Homemade silencer, Search warrant for stolen property.

LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The Lane County Sheriff’s Office has lodged new charges against two Lane County men arrested on Wednesday.”Additional charges have been added to Dustin Conn (Felon in Possession of a Weapon) and Miles Smith (Felon in Possession of a Weapon and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine) in connection with the search warrant service on 6/10/2020 at a residence on Poodle Creek and Hwy 126 in West Lane County,” the sheriff’s office said.

Andrew Charles Beard, 30 October 2020, Alleged Murderer Charged With Possession of a Silencer

A Rowlett man who allegedly gunned down his ex-girlfriend in the midst of a bitter custody dispute has been charged with possessing an unlicensed firearm silencer, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Andrew Charles Beard, 33, was charged via criminal complaint. He was arrested Thursday afternoon and made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver Friday morning.

“Given the brutality of his alleged crimes, it’s unthinkable that Mr. Beard bonded out of county jail,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “I am proud that our federal law enforcement partners acted quickly so that we could file federal charges. It is our fervent hope that justice will be swift, and that Mr. Beard will be kept behind bars — state or federal — before he can inflict more harm.”

“ATF is steadfast in its pursuit of domestic abusers in possession of firearms illegally. Mr. Beard will now face the full force of the United States Justice Department and all of its law enforcement partners,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Jeffrey C. Boshek II.

According to the complaint, Mr. Beard allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend, Alyssa Burkett, outside her office on Oct. 2. Ms. Burkett, who was found with multiple stab wound to her torso and a possible gunshot wound to the head, died at the scene.

Rufino Costales, Jr., 2 November, 2020

Salinas Man Charged With Illegally Possessing A Firearm Silencer Located In His Storage Locker

SAN JOSE – Rufino Costales Jr. made his initial appearance today after being charged in a criminal complaint alleging he possessed an unregistered firearm silencer, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman.

An affidavit filed by an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in connection with the criminal complaint alleges that Costales, 45, of Salinas, claimed to own firearms and to manufacture firearm silencers, also known as sound suppressors. The complaint further alleges Costales made a series of threats to the safety of law enforcement officers and other people. Costales threatened to use self-manufactured weapons, including an explosive device.

Law enforcement officers discovered the silencer in a storage unit rented to Costales. The silencer bore no manufacturer mark nor any serial number and was not registered as required by law.

Kryscuk and Duncan November 20, 2020 illegal manufacture of firearms

 The indictment alleges that Collins and Kryscuk were members of and made multiple posts on the “Iron March” forum, a gathering point for young neo-Nazis to organize and recruit for extremist organizations, until the forum was closed in late 2017.  Collins and Kryscuk met through the forum and expanded their group using an encrypted messaging application as an alternate means of communication outside of the forum.  Collins and Kryscuk recruited additional members, including Duncan and Hermanson, and conducted training, including a live-fire training in the desert near Boise, Idaho.  From video footage recorded by the members during the training, Kryscuk, Duncan, and others produced a montage video of their training.  In the video, the participants are seen firing short barrel rifles and other assault-type rifles, and the end of the propaganda video shows the four participants outfitted in skull masks giving the “Heil Hitler” sign, beneath the image of a black sun, a Nazi symbol.  The last frame bears the phrase, “Come home white man.”  Prior to their arrests, Collins and Duncan had recently relocated from North Carolina and Texas, respectively, to Boise to be near Kryscuk.

Of the 32 cases found, the most common predicate was the silencer was found during the execution of a search warrant that did not mention the silencer. There were seven of those cases.

Six cases were similar.  The silencer or silencers were found in the investigation of another crime.

Six cases were what appears to have been a controlled delivery of a silencer or silencer parts. Four of those were to a convicted felon.  Almost certainly, the controlled delivery means the people were being investigated already. A controlled delivery indicates a search warrant was issued as part of the investigation.

Two cases came from investigations involving traffic stops. A silencer was found in one, in the other, the stop led to a search warrant where silencers were found.

Two cases came from silencers being found when officers investigated parked vehicles with the doors open with intoxicated people inside the vehicle.

Two cases appear to have been sting operations. One was a felon in possession, another was a planned mass murder.

Two cases were based on warrants obtained, at least in part, on evidence posted online, in which pictures of suppressors on firearms were seen.

One case involved a person who had a silencer while hunting.

One case involved a commercial manufacturer who purchased a legal silencer but did not record it in his records.

In one case, a predicate for the case was not found in court records. The case simply indicated a plea bargain for illegal possession of a silencer.

Since 2017, eight of the cases originated from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) or Project Guardian, which are federal law enforcement initiatives. Project Guardian focuses on federal firearms crimes.

The number of prosecutions for possession of silencers seems very small. The potential sentences are extreme. 10 years for simple possession; a mandatory 30 years if used in a crime of violence or to further drug distribution.

The prosecution seemed unwilling to settle for less than a felony conviction, even when only a small fine and probation were applied.

If a person who is not a prohibited possessor, wishes to avoid these sorts of problems and to obtain and use one or more silencers, the simplest answer is to apply for and obtain one or more Form 1’s so a silencer can be made legally.  Applying to obtain a tax stamp to make a silencer, via a Form 1 sent electronically to the ATF, takes about a month, and costs $200 in tax. Alternatively, silencers can be commercially purchased, but the process takes longer.

In an investigation for silencers, one of the steps is to see if the person being investigated has a legal tax stamp. Only one of the cases listed had a legal tax stamp, but the licensed silencer manufacture had not recorded a silencer that was purchased on his records, as required.

A Form 1 has no time limit in which to make a silencer authorized by Form 1.

As silencers become more common, the issuance of a search warrant for the mere sight of what appears to be a silencer will become unlikely. Additionally, as fake silencers are becoming common, a mere image of what appears to be a silencer is not proof the thing shown is a functional silencer.

However, if your identity is known, there is no requirement for a warrant to obtain the information from the ATF as to whether you have a tax stamp for a silencer.

A close friend is very careful about appearing in pictures. He was involved in intelligence operations.

Exactly the opposite appears to be the case with today’s criminals. They often post images of themselves with cash, what appears to be drugs, and illicitly possessed weapons.

It does not take a warrant to access images online, published on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or email accounts.

There are about two million legal silencers in the United States today. The numbers are growing rapidly.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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