DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Nathaniel R. Mendell
, United States Attorney

Barnstable Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Offenses

Convicted Felon Sold Ghost Guns to Undercover Agent on Multiple Occasions

BOSTON – A Barnstable man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with selling four “ghost guns” to an undercover agent.

Jacob Linhares, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of dealing in firearms without a license and being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock scheduled sentencing for April 12, 2022. Linhares was arrested and charged on June 15, 2021.

Between May 25, 2020 and June 15, 2020, Linhares, sold four Privately Made Firearms (PMFs) he had personally fabricated to an undercover agent. PMFs are not made by firearm manufacturers. Rather, they are made from firearm parts purchased from firearm manufacturers and assembled by the buyer using various drilling tools and machinery to construct a functional firearm. PMFs do not have serial numbers and are commonly known as “ghost guns” because they are not serialized, and are thus, untraceable to a purchaser or owner. On the fourth sale, Linhares agreed to take a commercially manufactured firearm as part of the payment. Due to prior felony convictions, Linhares is prohibited from possessing firearms.

The charge of dealing firearms without a federal license provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Barnstable County District Attorney Michael D. O’Keefe; Barnstable Police Chief Matthew Sonnabend; and Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Mendell’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Boston Field Division