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Press Release

Barnstable Man Sentenced for Selling "Ghost Guns"

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Convicted felon sold ghost guns to undercover agent on multiple occasions

BOSTON – A Barnstable man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for selling four “ghost guns” to an undercover agent.

Jacob Linhares, 34, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. On Dec. 21, 2021, Linhares pleaded guilty to one count of dealing in firearms without a license and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Between May 25, 2020 and June 15, 2020, Linhares, sold four Privately Made Firearms (PMFs) he had personally fabricated to an undercover agent. PMFs are not made by firearm manufacturers, but are rather from firearm parts purchased from firearm manufacturers and assembled by the buyer using various drilling tools and machinery to construct a functional firearm. PMFs do not have serial numbers and are commonly known as “ghost guns” because they are not serialized and are thus untraceable to a purchaser or owner.

Over this three-week period, Linhares arranged through phone calls and text messages involving coded language to meet with the undercover agent covertly in parking lots. During the fourth sale, Linhares agreed to take a commercially manufactured firearm as part of the payment. Due to prior felony convictions, Linhares is prohibited from possessing firearms.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Barnstable County District Attorney Michael D. O’Keefe; Barnstable Police Chief Matthew Sonnabend; and Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Rollins’ Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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. 

Updated April 13, 2022

Firearms Offenses