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Press Release

Convicted felon sentenced to federal prison for possessing firearms, including one with a Glock switch

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

SHERMAN, Texas – A Fort Worth man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.

Malando Bates, 24, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on March 9, 2023.   U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant’s sentence of 120 months was an upward departure from the recommended guideline range.  In his ruling, Judge Mazzant noted that Bates had a history of firearm related offenses, that he possessed a Glock with a Glock switch attached, and that, by Bates’ own admission, he had possessed multiple fully automatic pistols.  Judge Mazzant further stated that a sentence of 120 months would serve to protect society.

According to information presented in court, on Oct. 24, 2021, law enforcement encountered Bates after hearing gunshots.  Initially, Bates falsely identified himself as his brother and claimed he was a U.S. Marine.  Bates subsequently admitted to law enforcement that he lied about his identity because he was a convicted felon and knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Bates was found to be in possession of several firearms including a Glock pistol with a Glock switch, also known as a machine gun conversion device (MCD) converting the firearm to a fully automatic weapon, a fully loaded 30 round magazine, and two AR style rifles with loaded magazines. Glock switches are devices that are attached to the slide of a Glock handgun that convert the semi-automatic pistol into a pistol capable of fully automatic fire.

“Possession of firearms by convicted felons is inherently dangerous for society,” said U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs. “But that danger increases exponentially when prohibited individuals possess firearms containing switches that convert semi-automatic weapons into machine guns, which, within a matter of a few seconds, can fire multiple rounds with a single squeeze of the trigger.  Today’s sentence should send a clear message that anyone who manufactures, sells, or possesses a machine gun conversion device will be prosecuted federally and face serious consequences.”

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case was investigated by the Highland Village Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey M. Batson.


Updated May 24, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses