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Two Roxbury men charged with selling 3-D printed devices for turning regular guns into machine guns

Two Roxbury men face federal gun charges for allegedly storing and selling devices for turning regular guns into rapid-fire weapons, which one of them sold to an informant working with ATF, and which the other stored in his bedroom, according to court documents released in recent days.

Elijah Navarro, 24, and Michael Wilkerson, 22, were arrested Thursday on Homestead Street by Boston Police officers and ATF agents after an early morning raid of Wilkerson's apartment.

Navarro was immediately brought into federal court on charges related to selling firearms without registering with the federal government in general and selling machine guns in particular. He is being held pending a March 3 hearing. Under federal law, kits that can turn semiautomatic guns into fully-automatic machine guns - which can fire multiple rounds with just a single trigger pull - are themselves considered machine guns.

Wilkerson was initially brought into Roxbury Municipal Court on state charges including possession of firearms with obliterated serial numbers, but was arrested yesterday on the same federal charges as Navarro. A federal court date has yet to be set for him.

According to an affidavit by an ATF agent on the case, ATF and BPD began investigating Navarro for "his involvement in a firearms manufacturing and trafficking
operation" last month. They arranged to have a man with an extensive criminal background who now works with ATF contact Navarro to buy a number of "machinegun conversion devices,” also known as "Glock chips."

Navarro, the affidavit states, agreed to sell the informant 12 of the devices, for a total of $1,700, which he did in two meetings, on Jan. 19 and 25.

Navarro showed up at the first meeting with just 2 of the promised 12 devices, according to the agent, who says the explanation he gave "Cooperating Witness-1" hinted at how he was obtaining them:

NAVARRO told CW-1 that there was a miscommunication and words to the effect of "we are going to make them, I have 2 right now that are done, so I’ll give you the two, just give me four [hundred dollars]." When CW-1 asked to inspect the machinegun conversion devices, NAVARRO stated "it stays full, it doesn’t have like a button." CW-1 inspected the devices and handed NAVARRO $400. NAVARRO then stated "I’m going to print everything, I should get them done by 10 or 9," and further discussed a price of $1,300 for the remaining 10 machinegun conversion devices. Based on this conversation, I believe that NAVARRO is creating the machine gun conversion devices himself, or having them created for him to sell, using a 3D printer.

For the second meeting, the "cooperating witness" not only wore a wire but was accompanied by an undercover ATF agent acting as his associate, according to the affidavit. Other investigators trained surveillance cameras on them.

In a separate affidavit related to the charges against Wilkerson, the agent describes how ATF agents and BPD officers, armed with a search warrant, entered Wilkerson's home early on Feb. 16:

During the search of the bedroom in which WILKERSON was found, officers found and seized 8 machinegun conversion devices – consistent with the machinegun conversion devices purchased from NAVARRO as noted above. Per a review by ATF agents, I believe each of these devices recovered from WILKERSON’s bedroom constituted a machinegun under federal law. Investigators also seized, amongst other things: (1) paraphernalia consistent with the manufacturing of machinegun conversion devices; (2) a loaded Taurus G2c 9mm semi-automatic firearm with an obliterated serial number; (3) various rounds of ammunition; (4) a ballistic vest. WILKERSON was placed under arrest for violations of Massachusetts firearms laws. In a post-Miranda warnings recorded interview, WILKERSON admitted that: (1) he was engaged in the manufacturing of machinegun conversion devices; (2) the machinegun conversion devices found in his bedroom by investigators belonged to him; and (3) he was involved in the sale of machinegun conversion devices for a profit.

Innocent, etc.

Free tagging: 
PDF icon Navarro affidavit188.66 KB
PDF icon Wilkerson affidavit239.91 KB


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You need a pretty hefty semi-professional level machine to print in any materials I'd consider sturdy enough to install in a gun. Wonder if these guys were really going for it or printing crappy FDM copies on their creality, lol.

Voting closed 7

be 3D printed? That's a terrifying prospect if so.

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Check out PrintShootRepeat on YouTube

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a quite affordable SLA machine can use resins that will create parts as tough as necessary for this sort of application. i can’t imagine that the parts they were making would need to be stronger than automotive turbine blades and hobbyists successfully fabricate those all the time these days.

and of course, even of if your contraband is crap, its still contraband.

Voting closed 24

Not really to be honest. The materials for home 3D printing have improved dramatically, and the part that they were likely printing doesn’t have *that* much intense stress on it, so it could probably take a reasonable beating.

Voting closed 5

They may have printed something that if it was metal could make a machine gun out of a semi auto gun. This is one of those stretches that they’ll be acquired because of a technicality.

Voting closed 5