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Putnam Man Receives 3-Year Sentence for Machine Gun Possession

Stephen Simmons, 41, of Nitro, was sentenced Tuesday, September 12, to three years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of an unregistered machine gun in Federal Court in Huntington. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 3, 2023, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Simmons’ 32nd Street residence in Nitro. Officers seized two Glock switches, two drop-in auto sears, six firearm silencers, and more than 40 firearms including a Ruger, model 10/22, .22-caliber rifle that was reported stolen in Boone County.

Glock switches, drop-in auto sears, and firearm silencers are all machine guns as defined by federal law. Glock switches are devices designed solely to convert semiautomatic Glock pistols into fully automatic machine guns. Drop-in auto sears are devices designed solely to convert semiautomatic AR-type firearms into fully automatic machine guns, Firearm silencers are designed to silence, muffle or diminish the report of a portable firearm.

Simmons admitted that he possessed a Glock switch and further admitted that he did not register the Glock switch in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record as required by federal law.

The Court also found that Simmons was an unlawful user of controlled substances, and as a result was prohibited from possessing firearms on January 3, 2023.

Assistant United States Attorneys Troy D. Adams and Negar M. Kordestani prosecuted 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. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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