DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 4, 2024
Joshua S. Levy
, United States Attorney

Franklin Man Charged with Dealing Firearms While on State Pretrial Release

Defendant allegedly sold five firearms while on state pretrial release for charges including possessing large capacity weapon and assault and battery

BOSTON — A former Worcester resident, currently residing in Franklin, has been charged with dealing in firearms without a license and receiving a firearm while under indictment in state court for separate firearm offenses.

Juan Otero, 22, was charged with one count of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of receiving a firearm while under indictment. Otero was ordered detained following an initial appearance in federal court in Worcester on March 1, 2024 before Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy. 

According to the charging documents, between Nov. 27, 2023 and Jan. 23, 2024, Otero sold five firearms on four different occasions. It is alleged that one of the firearms was a Glock pistol with a machinegun conversion device, also known as a “Glock switch,” attached. Otero also allegedly sold large capacity magazines and multiple rounds of ammunition.  

In 2022, Otero was indicted in Worcester Superior Court for multiple state crimes, including the unlawful possession of a large capacity weapon, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm and ammunition and attempted assault and battery. 

Otero was on release pending trial on the state court charges at the time of his firearm sales in this matter.   

The charges of dealing in firearms without a license and receipt of a firearm while under indictment both provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy; James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Boston Feld Division; John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Paul Saucier Interim Police Chief of the Worcester Police Department made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Franklin, Mansfield and Auburn Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin J. Brown of the Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

This case 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Boston Field Division