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Press Release

Grass Valley Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Unlawfully Manufacturing Ghost Guns and Selling Them on Dark Web

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Michael Paul Grisham Smith, 44, of Grass Valley, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to five years in prison for unlawful manufacturing and dealing in firearms, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Smith contacted a firearms vendor on the dark web seeking to sell AR-15-style “ghost” guns. Firearms without serial numbers are sometimes referred to as ghost guns. The firearms vendor was in fact an undercover agent. Between December 1, 2017, and February 15, 2018, Smith manufactured and sold eight AR‑15‑style firearms without serial numbers to the undercover agent in exchange for payment in bitcoin.

This case was the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Quinn Hochhalter and Justin Lee are prosecuting the case.

Updated September 21, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 2:18-cr-043-GEB