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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, November 3, 2023

Hampton Man Sentenced for Multi-State Firearms Trafficking

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Hampton man was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for making false statements during the purchase of firearms so that he could deal firearms, some with obliterated serial numbers, without a license to others.

According to court documents, in June 2022, John Magobet, 58, came to the attention of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as an individual who was purchasing firearms from a local Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to resell to individuals in different states with restricted gun laws, including the southern New Jersey area and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Magobet indicated on multiple ATF forms that he was the actual buyer of the firearms, when, in fact, the actual buyer of the firearms was an individual he knew as “E”, from New Jersey. For a $500 fee per firearm, Magobet purchased and delivered to “E” two AR-15-type rifles and four Glock pistols, which were desired so that “E” could install Glock switch-style machinegun conversion devices and re-sell them as machineguns. Magobet showed one potential buyer how to deface the firearms by removing the serial numbers saying “erase, erase, erase.” Magobet also stated to a potential buyer that he wanted to be advised if someone did something "stupid" with the firearm he sold so that Magobet could report the firearm stolen to “cover” himself.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Devon Heath prosecuted the case.


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