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Press Release

Sharpsburg Man Facing Federal Indictment for Illegal Possession of Firearms, Including a Machinegun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Indictment Alleges that as a Result of Previous Felony Convictions the Defendant was Prohibited from Possessing Firearms

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Jacob Matthew Martz, age 41, of Sharpsburg, Maryland, with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and with possession of a machinegun, in connection with 16 firearms and multiple machinegun conversion devices found at the defendant’s residence.  The indictment was returned on November 4, 2021 and unsealed yesterday upon the arrest of the defendant.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge L.C. Cheeks, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.

According to the two-count indictment, on October 6, 2021, Martz illegally possessed six pistols, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .410 shotgun, and eight rifles. The indictment alleges that Martz knew that, as a result of previous felony firearms convictions, he was prohibited from possessing firearms.  Further, the indictment alleges that Martz possessed machineguns, specifically, machinegun conversion devices for AR-15 style rifles, also known as “drop in auto sears,” parts designed and intended solely and exclusively, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun.  Finally, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of all 16 firearms upon the conviction of the defendant.

If convicted, Martz faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for possession of a machinegun.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. At yesterday’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Coulson ordered that Martz be released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and the ATF for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles D. Austin, who is prosecuting 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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Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4854

Updated November 19, 2021

Firearms Offenses