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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Burnsville Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of Machineguns

MINNEAPOLIS — A Burnsville man has pleaded guilty to illegal possession of machinegun conversion devices, or switches, 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 from Zwack 11 3D-printed machinegun conversion devices designed to convert a semiautomatic AR-Type weapon to shoot automatically. 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.

Zwack pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court before Chief Judge Patrick J. Schiltz to one count of possession of a machinegun. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.

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.


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