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Press Release

Convicted Felon Arrested For Smuggling Machinegun Conversion Devices Into The United States And Possession Of Firearms, Ammunition, And Silencer

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

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Phillip Michael Valeriani (41, Plant City) with smuggling machinegun conversion devices into the United States, possession of firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon, and possession of unregistered machineguns and a silencer. If convicted, Valeriani faces up to 20 years in federal prison for smuggling machinegun conversion devices, up to 15 years for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for possession of an unregistered machinegun and silencer.

According to the complaint, in April 2024, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a suspicious package shipped from Shenzhen, China and destined for a residence in Plant City. The package contained 63 machinegun conversion devices, commonly referred to as “Glock switches.” A Glock switch is an illegal conversion device that converts a semi-automatic pistol into a fully automatic weapon. Under the National Firearms Act, a Glock switch is classified as a machinegun.

(Pictured below: Glock Switches)

After confirming Valeriani was the intended recipient of the package containing the 63 Glock switch parts, law enforcement conducted a search warrant at Valeriani’s residence. During the search, law enforcement seized firearms, including a pistol with a foldable stock and Glock switch, ammunition, a silencer, narcotics, a tactical vest with ballistic plates, and FBI and DEA raid jackets.


Exhibit Photo
Exhibit Photo


A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.         

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Plant City Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Tampa International Airport Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Haynes.    

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.

Updated June 4, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses