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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Selling 12 Gauge Pistol made from Modified Flare Gun

Also illegally sold practice grenade fuses

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Eric Mark Way, 29, of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to charges of transferring an illegally modified flare gun.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Charles E. Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

Way was charged via a one count criminal information. Way faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on April 10, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Way sold multiple modified flare gun kits.  These kits consisted of a flare gun, an insert that converted the legal signaling device into an illegal 12 gauge device, and a canvass carrying pouch.  One the individuals who purchased this modified weapon from Way was a violent, convicted felon.  In addition to selling the modified flare guns, Way was also caught illegally selling M228 practice grenade fuses.  In order to sell these fuses, both the seller and purchaser must possess a federal explosives license.  Way does not have a federal explosives license.

This case was investigated by ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Terwilliger and Special Assistant United States Attorney Caroline Friedman are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15CR08.

Updated March 27, 2015