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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Illinois Teen Indicted for Trafficking Glock Switches from China

A teenager from Cahokia Heights was arraigned on a two-count indictment in federal court, and he is now facing charges for engaging in a scheme to transport Machine Gun Conversion Devices, more commonly known as Glock switches, from China to St. Clair County.

Carlos Akins, 19, is facing one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun and one count of transporting prohibited weapons without a license.

“Glock switches have exploded in popularity in recent years, and federal law enforcement agencies are working together to remove the devices from our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Our office stands ready to prosecute the individuals responsible for trafficking Glock switches into southern Illinois.”

“The growing popularity of machine gun conversion devices poses a very real threat to public safety and the law enforcement community,” said Bernard Hansen, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kansas City Field Division. “As this case clearly demonstrates, ATF is committed to working with our local, state and federal partners to investigate the trafficking and use of these devices and remove them from our communities.”

“Conversion devices or switches that allow a handgun to become fully automatic are becoming more common and the Illinois State Police Public Safety Enforcement Group is committed to stopping the proliferation of these devices,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

According to court documents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Chicago intercepted a package of 10 Glock switches from China in route to an address in East St. Louis for Akins in December 2022. CBP notified ISP of the package, and troopers partnered with ATF to conduct a controlled pick-up for the defendant.

After his arrest, Akins gave law enforcement consent to search his bedroom. Officers located a Glock with a purple switch, an extended magazine and an additional cell phone. During an interview, the defendant told police he ordered Glock switches from an app and had sold nine switches to customers for a total of $2,000.

In January 2023, Homeland Security Investigations seized another package of 10 Glock switches addressed to Akins. In total, Akins is accused of ordering 30 Glock switches from China.

Under federal law, auto sears, commonly known as Glock switches, are defined as a machine gun, because the relatively simple and small conversion devices can turn semi-automatic pistols into automatic weapons.

If convicted, the defendant can be sentenced to up to 15 years in federal prison and face fines up to $250,000.

An indictment is merely a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

ATF and ISP are contributing to the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Arshi is prosecuting the case.

Read more at the Justice Department

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Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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