For Immediate Release
Lowell Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm Charges
Defendant used Snapchat to illegally advertise firearms for sale, including a loaded assault rifle
BOSTON – A Lowell man was sentenced on July 15, 2022 in federal court in Boston in connection with advertising the sale of firearms on Snapchat.
Juan Aparicio, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. On Feb. 10, 2022, Aparicio pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
“Firearms are inherently dangerous weapons. Those who lawfully carry them in Massachusetts are required to undergo a thorough vetting process. There are also very strict requirements regarding the legal purchase and sale of any firearm. Convicted felons like Mr. Aparicio are strictly prohibited from possessing firearms in any way, which obviously includes trying to sell them on Snapchat,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Whether an illegal possession or an unlawful sale is in person over conducted via social media, prohibited individuals will be found and prosecuted. We will work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to keep deadly firearms out of the hands of prohibited individuals.”
“Illegal firearms trafficking is a serious threat to our communities,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division. “ATF’s Boston Division will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners to target firearms traffickers and remove them from our communities. This investigation is an example of our commitment to protecting the public and making Massachusetts safer.”
In June 2019 and January 2020, Aparicio posted videos on his Snapchat offering to sell numerous firearms. A search of Aparicio’s residence resulted in the recovery of a loaded assault rifle and handgun. Due to previous convictions punishable by more than one year in prison, Aparicio is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
U.S. Attorney Rollins, ATF SAC Ferguson, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan and Superintendent Raymond Kelly Richardson of the Lowell Police Department made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan Panich and Charles Dell’Anno of Rollins’ Office prosecuted 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is 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.