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Press Release

Nineteen-Year-Old Man Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Trafficking 3D-Printed “Glock Switches” and “Auto-Sears”

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. – A Washington, Illinois, man, Zavien James Ross, 19, was sentenced today to 27 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to possession of machineguns.

According to court documents, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made two separate undercover purchases of Glock switches from Ross in November 2022, purchasing a total of nine 3D-printed Glock switches and one 3D-printed auto-sear designed for an AR-15 rifle. Machinegun conversion devices, sometimes called “Glock switches” or “auto-sears,” are devices that convert ordinary semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic machineguns. Machinegun conversion devices are themselves considered machineguns under federal law, even when not installed, and are illegal to possess or sell in almost all cases.

Later in the investigation Ross was arrested by the Peoria Police Department on November 28, 2022, for possessing a firearm in a car during a traffic stop. On November 29, 2022, ATF agents conducted a search of Ross’s residence and located a 3D printer, five additional 3D printed Glock switches, and two 3D printed pistol lower receivers.

Ross was arrested and then indicted in February 2022. He was released on bond with pre-trial conditions.  However, a petition for revocation of bond was filed in September 2023 when a probation officer found various pieces of counterfeit money and forged checks during a home visit. Ross surrendered shortly thereafter and has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The statutory penalties for possession of machineguns are up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to a three-year term of supervised release, and a possible fine of $250,000. Ross also has pending charges in Peoria County, Illinois, for unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owners Identification card.

ATF investigated the case, with the assistance of the Peoria Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Ross 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.

Updated October 11, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods