Skip to main content
Press Release

Racine Man Indicted in Federal Court with Illegally Making and Selling Firearms

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

United States Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on August 27, 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Donald W. Rees (age: 42) of Racine, Wisconsin for illegally making, possessing, and transferring homemade pipe guns.  Rees was charged with two counts of illegally making firearms in violation of 26 U.S.C. section 5861(f), two counts of possessing an unregistered firearm in violation of section 5861(d), and two counts of illegally transferring a firearm in violation of section 5861(e). Each of the six counts charged carries a maximum possible imprisonment for not more than ten years, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and a term of supervised release not to exceed three years.

The indictment alleges that Rees made seven homemade pipe guns and sold these guns on two separate occasions. The firearms were described as destructive devices in the form of slam-type weapons, each consisting of two sections of metal pipe, one of which would slide into the other, with the wider pipe having an end cap through which a metal screw extends into the pipe to act as a firing pin to contact the primer in order to expel the ammunition out of the weapon when the pipes are pushed together.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mel S. Johnson.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 29, 2015