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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
Thursday, March 16, 2023

Richmond Man Sentenced for Possession and Sale of Machinegun Conversion Devices

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to three years in prison for possessing and selling multiple machinegun conversion devices, also known as Glock switches, that are designed to convert firearms into fully automatic machineguns.

According to court documents, Zantias Tyler, 27, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing and transporting multiple machinegun conversion devices, which are illegal under federal law because they are designed solely to convert a firearm into a fully automatic weapon. In June 2022, the ATF Internet Investigations Branch identified a YouTube channel where Tyler showcased several videos promoting the manufacture and sale of devices specific to “Glock-Style” firearms, commonly referred to as “switches” or “Glock switches.”

Previously, in May 2022, Tyler had been stopped and questioned by Richmond police, and during that encounter, the officers recovered two Glock switches attached to Tyler’s key chain. Further investigation by the ATF intercepted packages mailed by Tyler containing more switches. Ultimately, two search warrants were executed on Tyler’s residence. In all, twelve conversion devices were seized by the ATF, along with a package of 30 additional device parts, two firearms, and evidence of dozens of online sales of these devices.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael T. Weddel, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; Damon E. Wood, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Rick Edwards, Acting Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Duffey prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:22-cr-145.

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