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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Oklahoma
Robert J. "Bob" Troester, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Oklahoma City Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Trafficking and Possession of a Machinegun and Agrees to Forfeit 194 Firearms, Machinegun Conversion Device, Ammunition and Nearly $470,000 Cash

OKLAHOMA CITY — Yesterday, Phillip Niles Martin, 68, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty to firearms trafficking conspiracy and to unlawful possession of a machinegun, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

According to an affidavit in a previously filed criminal complaint, Martin was the subject of two previous Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigations for similar conduct. In 2013, Martin received a verbal warning for dealing firearms without a license and was advised that even with a license he could not deal firearms at an Oklahoma City swap meet. In 2020, he acknowledged receipt of an ATF cease-and-desist letter after a firearm that he had purchased was recovered at a crime scene in Mexico.

The affidavit further provides that in June 2022, ATF received multiple tips that Martin was illegally dealing in firearms at an Oklahoma City swap meet. An investigation revealed that Martin was still dealing firearms without a license and sold firearms at significantly inflated rates – approximately double retail price – without completing the background checks required by law.

Pursuant to a search warrant executed at Martin’s residence, agents seized 194 firearms, a significant quantity of ammunition, approximately $469,520 in cash and a machinegun conversion device, commonly known as a “switch,” which when installed, converts a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic machinegun. Possession of these devices violates federal law.

On Feb. 16, Martin was charged by Information with conspiracy to illegally traffic firearms and with unlawful possession of a machinegun.

Yesterday, Martin appeared before U.S. District Judge Jodi W. Dishman and pled guilty to both counts of the Information. In entering his plea, Martin specifically acknowledged he knowingly conspired with others to traffic firearms and that he illegally possessed a machinegun conversion device. Martin also agreed to forfeit all 194 firearms, the ammunition, approximately $469,520 in cash and the machinegun conversion device.

At sentencing, Martin faces up to 25 years in federal prison and fines totaling up to $500,000. The sentencing hearing will take place in approximately 90 days.

This case is the result of an investigation by ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle M. Connolly 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. This case is also part of “Project Switch Off,” the Western District of Oklahoma’s local implementation of PSN. “Project Switch Off” targets illegal machinegun conversion devices to address the significant danger these illegal devices present and to remove them from our streets.


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