For Immediate Release
Amarillo Drug Dealer Charged With Possession of 76 Firearms, 54 Glock Switches
DALLAS — An Amarillo drug dealer with an arsenal of 76 firearms and 54 Glock switches was indicted on federal drug and gun charges, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Gabriel Michael Rendon, 28, was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of machineguns, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and felon in possession of a firearm. His wife, Jane Marie Burgess, 26, was charged with false statement during the purchase of a firearm.
“Glock switches – inch-long devices that convert regular firearms into machineguns capable of a terrifyingly swift rate of fire – are proliferating rapidly in North Texas,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “An armed drug trafficker is always bad news; a drug trafficker armed with a switch is exponentially more dangerous. We cannot and will not allow these devices to take over our streets.”
“Citizens of Amarillo can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Mr. Rendon no longer terrorizes the streets of their city. Illegal firearms and illicit drugs are never a good combination, especially when those guns are possessed by a prohibited person. Together with the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners, we will continue to pursue the worst of the worst lawbreakers living amongst us in our communities,” stated ATF Dallas Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
According to the indictment, Gabriel Rendon allegedly possessed 76 firearms, including 43 pistols, 23 rifles, 4 shotguns and 4 revolvers, in furtherance of his drug trafficking business. Due to an Arkansas state court conviction for possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, he was legally barred from handling firearms.
Gabriel Rendon also allegedly possessed at least 54 Glock switches, dangerous devices that convert regular semi-automatic pistols into machineguns capable of continuous fire with a single depression of the trigger. (Glock switches are classified as machineguns under federal law. Unlike semiautomatic firearms, machineguns – weapons that can fire more than one round, without manual reloading, by single function of the trigger – are generally unlawful for non-licensed civilians under the National Firearms Act.)
Jane Burgess allegedly bought guns for her husband, lying on ATF Form 4473 by indicating that she was the actual buyer when she actually intended to hand them over to Gabriel Rendon.
According to court documents, during a search of Gabriel Rendon’s residence on July 26, Jane Burgess allegedly told law enforcement that Gabriel Rendon was armed at all times when at the home.
An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted on all counts, Gabriel Rendon faces up to life in federal prison; Jane Burgess faces up to 10 years in prison.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Dallas Field Division, Amarillo Resident Agency; the Amarillo Police Department; and the Randall County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Pinkham is prosecuting the case.