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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts
Joshua S. Levy, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Brookline Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Machine Guns

Defendant Was in Possession of Eight “Ghost Guns,” Hundreds of Rounds of Ammunition and Firearm Parts

BOSTON – A Brookline man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing two machine guns.

Stewart Silvestri, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of machine guns. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Oct. 12, 2023. Silvestri was charged by criminal complaint on Nov. 16, 2022.

On Oct. 15, 2022, law enforcement responded to multiple calls for an erratic driver on Route 95 in Rowley, Mass., who had pulled into a weigh station. Upon arriving at the weigh station, law enforcement approached the driver – Silvestri – who stated he had just come from an armory in New Hampshire. While asking for his license and registration, law enforcement observed Silvestri sitting on what appeared to be firearms. A subsequent search of the vehicle recovered 14 privately made firearms (also known as ghost guns), hundreds of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearm parts. Two of the firearms were fully automatic pistols, classified as machine guns.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $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 United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip C. Cheng of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit 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 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.

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