For Immediate Release
Houston Area Residents Charged With Unlawfully Possessing Full Auto Switches
HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against the man accused of shooting three Houston police officers as well as several unrelated cases involving unlawful possession of firearms with “Glock switches” or other violations, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery along with Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Chief Troy Finner of the Houston Police Department (HPD), Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and U.S. Marshal Michael O’Conner of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).
Full auto switches, or machine guns, are most commonly referred to as “Glock switches.
Five of those charged are set to make their initial appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina A. Bryan at 2 pm.
Roland Caballero, 31, Houston, is currently in state custody on related charges and will make an appearance in Houston federal court at a later date. He is charged federally with carjacking, discharge of firearm during a crime of violence, possession of a machine gun and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“The charges announced today are a sobering reminder of the dangers faced everyday by law enforcement officers around this country,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “The defendant allegedly shot and wounded three HPD officers with a pistol that was converted into a machine gun. The Department of Justice is focused on taking violent criminals off the street and doing so by working side by side with our state and local law enforcement partners.”
The charges against Caballero allege he was in an altercation with his girlfriend which resulted in a 911 call Jan. 27. Authorities responded, but he fled, according to the criminal complaint originally filed in the case. They pursued. According to the charges, Caballero eventually crashed his vehicle, at which time he shot at and wounded three HPD officers using a pistol modified with a full auto switch.
Caballero then fled the scene on foot and carjacked a nearby vehicle, according to the complaint. However, the charges allege law enforcement located him and a stand-off ensued. He, again, allegedly discharged a firearm at authorities, after which he ultimately surrendered.
The indictment further alleges search warrants conducted at his residence resulted in the discovery of several firearms, ammunition, machine gun components and 3-D printers.
In addition to the charges against Caballero, federal grand jury returned indictments Feb. 16 against 19 individuals for unlawful possession of an unregistered machine gun, possession of a machine gun or being a felon in possession of a firearm. [Detailed listing attached.]
Those charges resulted from various traffic stops or responding to scenes, during which authorities discovered the unlawful firearms; through undercover investigations; or as a result of other proactive enforcement efforts.
If convicted of unlawful possession of an unregistered machine gun, possession of a machine gun, or felon in possession face up to 10 years in federal prison. Caballero faces a minimum of 30 years up to life in prison if convicted of carjacking with the use of a machine gun. All charges also carry a possible $250,000 maximum fine, upon conviction.
ATF, HPD, HCSO and USMS conducted the Caballero investigation as well as all or some of the other matters with assistance of Galveston Police Department, Harris County Precinct 2 Constables Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and Brazos County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the violent crimes section are prosecuting the cases.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law