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Press Release

Wilmington Man Who Sold 3-D Printed “Ghost Gun” to Undercover Agent Gets More than Six Years in Federal Prison

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

NEW BERN, N.C. – David Hedge, 22, of Wilmington North Carolina, was sentenced to 75 months in prison for distribution of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, including selling a stolen gun and a privately manufactured firearm, commonly referred to as a “Ghost Gun,” which he bragged did not have any serial numbers and couldn’t be traced by law enforcement.

“Non-serialized ghost guns are increasingly getting into the hands of drug traffickers and contributing to the violence in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Working with the ATF and local law enforcement, we are holding accountable those pushing illegal guns and drugs. The ‘untraceable’ gun the defendant once bragged about has led to a very traceable prison sentence.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on September 1, 2021, Hedge sold an ounce of methamphetamine to an undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent. The agent asked Hedge if he was armed while he was dealing.  Hedge produced a handgun with a high-capacity magazine loaded with 25 rounds.  Hedge informed the undercover officer that it was a “Ghost Gun,” and described how the gun had been made on a 3-D printer.  The agent purchased the gun from Hedge. On September 8, 2021, Hedge sold the undercover agent 2 loaded firearms, one of which had been reported stolen and almost a half-ounce of methamphetamine.  

This is part of operation “Golfer” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the New Hanover and Brunswick County Sheriffs’ Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo and Gabe Diaz prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:22-CR-00037-FL.

Updated February 14, 2023

Drug Trafficking