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Press Release

Violent Street Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing a Machine Gun After He Had Been Released on Bond

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

DETROIT – – A man who illegally possessed a handgun equipped with an auto sear, commonly known as a Glock switch, which is designed to convert the handgun into an automatic weapon was sentenced yesterday in federal court, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison. 

United States Attorney Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Vanderplow, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Detroit Field Division.

United States District Linda V. Parker sentenced Dion Davis, 19, of Detroit, Michigan, to 41 months in prison for illegally possessing several firearms. Davis was indicted in July 2021 and pleaded guilty in May 2022.

At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that on April 25, 2021, Davis went live on Instagram, flaunting his possession of an illegal machine gun with a device known as an auto sear, a square device about the size of a thumbnail known on the street as a "switch" that turns the gun from a semi-automatic to an automatic weapon. Five days later, federal agents recovered the weapon from Davis while executing a search warrant. Davis had drawn the attention of federal agents after being involved in several shooting incidents on Detroit’s east side. At the time he possessed the firearm with the conversion switch, Davis was on pretrial release for felony cases in both Wayne and Macomb County.

Law enforcement has established that Davis is affiliated with the “700 Gang,” which is also known as the “Wax Gang” and “4GTMT.” During a three-year period, twelve members of the 700 Gang were charged with violent or firearms-related felonies. According to court records, at the time of his arrest, Davis had fanned the flames of a feud with a rival gang by participating in shootings, taunting and threatening rival gang members on social media, and continually flaunting his unfettered access to firearms.     

"The sole and exclusive purpose of Glock switches, which are easily manufactured, is to convert an already dangerous firearm into an extremely dangerous machine gun," said United States Attorney Ison.  We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals that use and possess these dangerous devices in our community.”

“Conversion devices are NOT simple firearms parts or accessories but machineguns under federal law. The men and women at the ATF will find and remove these violent criminals from the community who continue to terrorize our State,” said, ATF Special in Charge Paul Vanderplow.  “ATF stands proudly with our Federal, State, and Local law enforcement partners within the State of Michigan to prosecute these individuals.”

The case against Davis 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.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Lanning.

Updated November 2, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods