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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Michigan
Mark A. Totten, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, August 7, 2023

Ravenna Man Sentenced to 150 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearms as a Felon

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Zebulon Timothy Nester, 27, of Ravenna Michigan, was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms.  U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker also ordered Nester to spend three years on supervised release after his confinement.  Nester previously pled guilty to this charge in April.

“Whether they are purchased illegally, stolen, or manufactured at home, federal law is clear:  firearms, ammunition, unregistered silencers, and firearm conversion devices do not belong in the hands of felons,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten.  “The serious sentence imposed here shows that illegally armed criminals will face serious consequences in federal court.” 

On July 1, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Nester’s residence in Ravenna, Michigan.  There they located a stock of firearms, unregistered firearm silencers, ammunition, firearms accessories, body armor, a 3-D printer, and 3-D printed “Glock switches,” which convert semi-automatic Glock pistols into fully automatic firearms.  Glock switches alone, even if not attached to a firearm, are defined as machine guns under federal law. Federal law also requires firearm silencers to be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  Prior to the search warrant at his residence, Nester was also apprehended by local authorities in possession of a firearm on June 8, 2022, in connection with a breaking and entering report where an additional handgun was stolen from a residence in Newaygo County. 

“Zebulon Nester blatantly and illegally possessed and sold firearms buying himself another round in federal prison. Risking the safety of our community will not be tolerated,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge James Deir. “ATF and its law enforcement partners will identify and hold accountable those individuals who continue to contribute to the violence in our cities.”

Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney Lauren F. Biksacky prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States.


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