Newark man gets 31 months for machine gun charge

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – A Newark man was sentenced by the Honorable Colm F. Connolly, U.S. District Judge, today to 31 months in federal prison for possessing machinegun conversion devices.

According to court documents, law enforcement searched the residence of Nathan Matthews, 42, in August 2019.  In an unlocked safe, they found a homemade 9 mm handgun, ammunition, and two machinegun conversion devices.  A machinegun conversion device, or fully-automatic conversion device, sometimes referred to as a “Glock switch,” alters a firearm so that pulling the trigger once causes multiple bullets to fire.  It is classified as a machinegun under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act.

By pleading guilty in federal court, Mr. Matthews also resolved charges against him in Harford County, Maryland.  In May 2018, Mr. Matthews was arrested in Maryland for possession of a different homemade pistol, a different machinegun conversion device, and ammunition.

David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware stated, “Illegal firearms put our communities at risk. For those individuals who choose to circumvent firearm manufacturing regulations to create homemade handguns, be forewarned that my office will work tirelessly with our federal and local law enforcement partners to hold you accountable for your illegal conduct.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth Mandelbaum led the prosecution of this case.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Castle County Police Department.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-00135.

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