For Immediate Release
Suburban Chicago Man Charged in Federal Court With Trafficking Machine Gun Conversion Devices
CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man has been indicted on federal firearm charges for allegedly trafficking 25 “Glock switches” that convert handguns into fully automatic machine guns.
The indictment charges Anthony Prisco, 20, of Oak Forest, Illinois, with illegally possessing and transferring machine guns and illegally possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon. Prisco has been ordered detained in federal custody without bond. Arraignment is set for Aug. 7 at noon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Heather K. McShain.
The charges were announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Christopher Amon, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Joliet Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Simar Khera.
According to the indictment and a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Prisco in June sold 25 machine gun conversion devices, a firearm with an obliterated serial number and a 3D printer. Unbeknownst to Prisco, the buyer was an undercover law enforcement officer. The printer that Prisco sold to the officer had been used to print the machine gun conversion devices, the charges allege. A machine gun conversion device, commonly known as a “Glock switch” or “auto sear,” equips firearms to fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger.
Prisco was on probation for a state firearm conviction when he allegedly sold the guns to the undercover officer. As a previously convicted felon, Prisco was prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
Disrupting illegal firearms trafficking is a centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s cross-jurisdictional strike force aimed at reducing gun violence. As part of the Chicago firearms trafficking strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with ATF and other federal, state and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and identify patterns, leads and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.
Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is also a focus of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each charge against Prisco is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.