West Virginia man receives 5 years for supplying machine gun parts to “extreme political movement”
MARTINSBURG, West Virginia – United States Chief Justice Gina Groh has sentenced an eastern West Virginia man to five years in federal prison for unlawful possession of a gun silencer, announced US Attorney William Ihlenfeld.
Timothy Watson, 31 from Ranson, pleaded guilty in March 2021 to one count of “Possession of an Unregistered Firearm Suppressor”. Watson admitted to having an unregistered silencer in November 2020 in Jefferson County.
U.S. lawyers presented evidence on Wednesday that Watson’s conduct also involved his manufacture and transfer of hundreds of machine gun conversion devices for AR-15 style rifles, also known as “drop in auto seas.” to nearly 800 people, including people he had reason to believe were adherents of an extremist political movement called “Boogaloo,” a term referring to an impending civil war or a violent uprising against the government for perceived forays into U.S. constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment, according to Ihlenfeld’s office. From these sales, the FBI has opened cases involving 58 people, resulting in three firearms-related arrests and one conviction to date. Numerous investigations are still ongoing, according to a press release.
Watson has been ordered to forgo the silencer, all 3D printed items that the government says are machine gun conversion devices, 3D printers, 3D printer parts and 3D printer supplies, as well as a US Postal Service package containing the same conversion devices. All the items were seized during a search in November 2020.
The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the US Postal Inspection Service are continuing their investigation into this matter.
Watson remains in the Eastern Regional Prison awaiting transfer to a federal facility.