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Press Release

Baltimore Firearms Trafficker Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Dealing in Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendant was Also Prohibited from Possessing Firearms Due to a Protective Order

Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Mark Ryals, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 42 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for unlicensed dealing in firearms. 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Richard Worley of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, in early July 2021, law enforcement received information that Ryals was illegally selling firearms from his residence in Baltimore.  That month, an undercover law enforcement agent asked Ryals to sell him firearms.  Ryals agreed to make the sale and on July 15, 2021, Ryals sold the undercover officer two privately manufactured 9mm pistols and a .17 caliber firearm silencer for $2,250.  Ryals knew that he was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a final protective order that was served on him on June 30, 2021.  Ryals also knew that he didn’t have a license to deal or sell firearms.

According to court documents, between July 15 and August 11, 2021, Ryals sold firearms to undercover law enforcement personnel on six separate occasions, resulting in the purchase of 21 additional firearms from the defendant. 

As detailed in the plea agreement, on August 12, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ryals’ residence and recovered two privately manufactured 9mm pistols, one of which was equipped with a large capacity magazine; a short barreled 12-gauge shotgun with no serial number; a .22 caliber firearm; 237 rounds of assorted ammunition and $1,190 in cash, most of which was ATF funds used in the controlled purchases.  Additionally, officers recovered firearms accessories and tools used in the creation of privately manufactured firearms, including a Dremel press with red plastic shavings on it.  Ryals waived his Miranda rights and agreed to an interview with law enforcement, during which Ryals admitted that he had been making firearms and selling them.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF, and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Gordin, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Updated February 14, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses