DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Sayler A. Fleming
, United States Attorney

East St. Louis Man Accused of Selling Machine Guns, Fentanyl in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – A man from East St. Louis, Illinois was arrested Tuesday after having been indicted on machine gun and drug charges.

Anton Bolden, 28, was indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on March 1 and appeared in court Tuesday. He is facing four felonies: possession of a machine gun, possession with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon.

The indictment accuses Bolden of possessing and transferring a machine gun on February 3, the same day he’s accused of the drug and gun crimes.

A motion seeking to have Bolden held in jail until trial says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned in January that Bolden was selling Glock pistols that had been modified to be fully automatic via an aftermarket conversion device, also known as a “Glock switch.” An undercover ATF special agent bought a switch-equipped Glock in St. Louis for $1,400, as well as more than five grams of fentanyl, the motion says.

In court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Martin said 12 firearms were found after Bolden’s arrest, including eight Glock pistols. One of the pistols was equipped with a switch, and three other switches were found that were not installed, Martin said. Glock switches are considered machine guns under federal law, even if not installed in a firearm.

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Louis Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Martin is prosecuting the case.

Kansas City Field Division