Mississippi News

Man pleads guilty to possessing a machine gun, as weapons conversions increase

Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Mississippi

U.S. Attorney Todd Gee announced Tuesday that his office has seen an increase in cases involving illegal machine gun conversion devices (MCDs), commonly known as “switches” or “auto sears,” which convert semi-automatic handguns into fully automatic weapons (i.e., machine guns) in a matter of seconds. MCDs present a significant danger in our community to both the public and law enforcement. An individual found in possession of an MCD will face up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported a 570 percent increase in the number of MCDs collected by police departments between 2017 and 2021, the most recent data available.

Today in the Southern District of Mississippi, defendant Kylin Demond Russell, age 22 of Jackson, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a machine gun by possessing a Glock pistol with an attached MCD. According to court documents, on Friday, Feb. 9, Russell led Capitol Police officers on a high-speed chase, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph, after failing to yield for a traffic stop. When his vehicle ultimately came to a stop, he attempted to flee on foot, was detained, and two Glock pistols with attached MCDs were found in the vehicle. Capitol Police contacted the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The vehicle driven by Russell appears to match the description of a vehicle seen in a video, taken by a citizen in Jackson and widely distributed on-line, showing a person firing a weapon from the vehicle.

Russell was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 21 and will be sentenced on Aug. 2. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee and Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made the announcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Allen is prosecuting the case.

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