For Immediate Release
Gun Trafficker Convicted of Unlicensed Firearms Dealing and Machine Gun Possession
MIAMI – Yesterday, Johnny Matthew Battle Jr., 30, of Miami, was convicted at trial before U.S. District Court Judge Beth Bloom of dealing firearms without a license and possessing a machine gun.
Battle operated an illegal firearm dealing business since at least 2017, selling guns without a background check to persons representing themselves as having been convicted of a felony or as drug dealers. Battle’s illegal business included selling “Glock Switch” machine gun conversion devices and accepting narcotics as payment for firearms.
Law enforcement agents learned of Battle’s purchase and sale of firearms for profit and to support his criminal associates. In total, law enforcement agents have identified the purchase of at least 170 guns and have recovered many of them across the United States, including in New York City, Boston and overseas. Battle also aided his criminal associates through acts that included a shooting at the home of his drug trafficker associates’ rival.
Sentencing has been scheduled for October 27. At sentencing, Battle faces up to 15 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Christopher A. Robinson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, and Chief of Police Manuel A. Morales of the Miami Police Department made the announcement.
ATF’s Miami Field Office and the Miami Police Department investigated the case, with assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), the FBI Miami Field Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hayden O’Byrne and Ignacio J. Vázquez Jr. prosecuted it. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marx Calderon is handling asset forfeiture.
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 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.
Sample images of evidence collected by law enforcement agents.
Related court documents and information may be found at the District Court for the Southern District of Florida or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov under case number 22-cr-20352.