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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Ghost Gun and Machine Gun Conversion Device Dealer Pleads Guilty

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Fairfax man pleaded guilty today to dealing in firearms without a license.

According to court documents, Davud Sungur, 20, has never had a federal firearms license. Beginning around March 2019 through March 2020, Sungur engaged in the business of dealing in firearms through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. Among the firearms that he sold and advertised for sale were homemade pistols devoid of serial numbers or other unique identifiers, commonly known as "ghost guns." Sungur explained to prospective customers that he charged a premium for such pistols because he made them, because they lacked serial numbers, and because they could not be linked to any previous criminal activities.

“Ghost guns appeal to criminals because they are untraceable,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “I want to be clear: If you engage in the business of selling firearms without a license or produce illegal firearms, you have a federal problem and will be held accountable.”

According to court documents, Sungur also sold weapons on multiple occasions to undercover detectives with the Fairfax County Police Department’s Organized Crime & Intelligence Bureau, who had learned he was selling firearms. Over the course of four separate transactions, he sold detectives more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, magazines, and numerous firearms – some of which were "ghost guns" – in exchange for cash. On two of these occasions, Sungur also sold detectives 3D-printed machine gun conversion devices that, after installation, enabled semi-automatic firearms to fire fully-automatically. Following his arrest, Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at his residence and discovered that he was in possession of additional materials and kits used to manufacture ghost guns, additional ammunition, additional magazines, a 3D printer, and an additional firearm.

“Not only was this defendant not licensed to sell firearms, but the weapons he sold were often illegally produced or obtained, and at times stripped of their serial numbers. This activity clearly indicates that the defendant was knowingly selling to individuals who could not legally possess a firearm, or may have been engaged in criminal activity,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Washington Field Division. “Today’s plea puts a needed end to the defendant’s reckless disregard for both the law and the consequences of selling illegal weapons.” 

Sungur pleaded guilty to dealing in firearms without a license. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on December 16. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

“Sungur manufactured and altered firearms to make them either untraceable or more dangerous, deliberately attempting to evade regulations intended to keep the public safe,” said Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigation’s Washington, D.C. Field Office. “Thanks to the work of our law enforcement partners, he can no longer distribute and profit from his illicit firearms in our communities.”

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Blanchard and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara A. Hallmark are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-162.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated September 29, 2020