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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Puerto Rico
W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Man Found Guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Machinegun

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that on July 12, 2021, a federal jury convicted Gilberto Joel Hernández Marín of unlawful possession of a machinegun. He faces a sentence of up to 10 years of imprisonment.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on February 16, 2019, Gilberto Joel Hernández Marín, age 25 of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico unlawfully possessed a 7.62 x 39 caliber Zastava Serbia AK-47 type pistol that had been modified so that it was capable of firing as a machine gun. On that date, Hernández Marín was detained and ticketed by Trujillo Alto municipal officers because his vehicle had illegally tinted windows. During the traffic stop, the officers found that Hernández Marín was in possession of the machinegun, which was loaded with 31 rounds of 7.62 x 39 caliber ammunition. The officers contacted agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), who investigated the case and presented it to the United States Attorney’s Office for Prosecution.

United States Attorney Muldrow indicated that, “The United States Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners will remain vigilant and aggressive in the investigation and prosecution of individuals in possession of illegal firearms. These types of violations are among the highest of priorities for the Department of Justice, and we will work tirelessly to remove illegal weapons from the streets.” 

“I would like to thank the municipal officers of Trujillo Alto who working with ATF and the USAO, were able to successfully prosecute this individual. Working together, we can further increase public safety and send the message to the public that possession of illegal guns will not be tolerated in Puerto Rico,” said Robert Cekada, Special Agent in Charge of ATF, Miami Field Division.

The case was investigated by ATF. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Vance Eaton and Assistant U.S. Attorney Pedro R. Casablanca of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Gang Section.


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