Skip to main content
Press Release

Alexander City Man Sentenced to 99 Months in Prison for Unlawful Possession of a Machinegun

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

           MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – Today, Acting United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross announced the sentencing of an Alexander City, Alabama man for possessing a handgun converted to function as fully automatic by a machinegun conversion device. On February 20, 2024, a federal judge sentenced 23-year-old Alan Lyrenski Sandlin to 99 months in prison. Federal inmates are not eligible for parole. Previously, on October 30, 2023, Sandlin pleaded guilty to the offense.

           According to the plea agreement and other court records, in April 2023, law enforcement agents conducting a narcotics investigation arrested Sandlin at a residence in Goodwater, Alabama. Agents searched the house following the arrest and found a handgun equipped with a machinegun conversion device. Machinegun conversion devices, commonly known as “switches” or “auto sears,” are installed on firearms and allow the guns to function as fully automatic weapons capable of firing up to 20 rounds per second. Weapons equipped with these devices pose a significant threat to communities and law enforcement due to their rapid rates of fire. Under the relevant federal statute, possession of a conversion device alone is considered to be possession of a machine gun, meaning that it is illegal to have a machine gun conversion device, regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm.  

           This case was prosecuted as 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

           The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force investigated this case, with assistance from the Alexander City Police Department, the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorney Brandon W. Bates prosecuted the case.

Updated February 27, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime