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Press Release

Chelsea Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Machinegun Conversion Devices

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

BOSTON – A Chelsea man pleaded guilty today to illegally selling multiple machinegun conversion devices to an undercover federal agent.

Michael Williams, 50, was indicted on two counts of transferring or possessing a machinegun and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for May 15, 2024. Williams was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in July 2023 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2023. 

In January 2023, Williams agreed to sell several machinegun conversion devices and other firearm accessories to an undercover agent. Following a series of communications, Williams met the undercover agent twice at a pre-arranged location. On Jan. 12, 2023, Williams sold the first machinegun conversion device, along with numerous rounds of ammunition. On the following day Williams sold two additional machinegun conversion devices to the undercover agent. Williams is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to a prior felony conviction.

The charge of unlawful transferring or possession of a machinegun provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The felon in possession charge provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Chelsea Police Chief Keith Houghton made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Dawley of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 31, 2024

Firearms Offenses