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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
Friday, May 12, 2023

Burnsville Felon Charged With Illegal Possession of Machineguns

MINNEAPOLIS – A Burnsville man has been charged in a criminal complaint for illegal possession of machinegun conversion devices, or switches, and for possessing firearms as a felon, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in March 2023, federal agents received information that Benjamin Jehle Zwack, 29, an employee at a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) business, was selling 3D-printed machinegun conversion devices, commonly known as “switches” or “auto sears.” These devices enable firearms to be fired as a fully automatic weapon by a single function of the trigger and qualify as machineguns under federal law.

According to court documents, on March 7, 2023, an undercover agent went to the FFL business and purchased eleven 3D-printed machinegun conversion devices designed to convert a semiautomatic AR-Type weapon to shoot automatically from Zwack. During the purchase, the undercover agent observed a firearm in Zwack’s waistband.

According to court documents, on March 30, 2023, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on Zwack’s residence and vehicle. Officers recovered a Girsan-Regard, 9mm semi-automatic pistol from the center console of Zwack’s vehicle and a shotgun and ammunition from his residence. A search of Zwack’s storage locker revealed additional firearms, suspected homemade silencers, ammunition, and a suspected destructive device.

Because Zwack has a prior felony conviction he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

The complaint charges Zwack with one count of possession of machineguns and one count of possession of a firearm as a felon. Zwack made his initial appearance yesterday before Magistrate Judge Dulce J. Foster. He was ordered to remain in detention pending further court proceedings.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Dakota County Drug Task Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Steinkamp is prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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