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Press Release

Cabarrus County Man Sentenced to 135 Months in Prison for Illegally Selling Over One Hundred Machine Gun Conversion Kits for AR-15 Type Rifles and Other Crimes

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

GREENSBORO – A North Carolina man was sentenced on June 24, 2022, to 135 months in prison, followed by a 3-year term of supervised release for two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm, and one count of distribution of cocaine hydrochloride.

According to court documents, Herbert Brooks Humphries, III, 21, was identified by the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) as the operator of an account on Snapchat advertising the sale of illegal narcotics, assault rifle parts and machine gun conversion kits, also known as Drop In Auto Sear (DIAS) devices, designed for use in AR-15 type rifles. A DIAS device is a specially designed piece of metal that can be inserted into specific semiautomatic firearms to allow them to function as fully automatic firearms.

An undercover officer (UC) with the CCSO engaged Humphries on Snapchat and expressed interest in purchasing a DIAS device. Beginning July 2020, the UC and Humphries arranged three sales of illegal drugs, a Remington rifle, and over one hundred DIAS devices in Cabarrus County. During the first meeting on July 28, 2020, Humphries sold the UC two DIAS devices. At the second meeting on July 30, 2020, Humphries sold the UC the Remington rifle, five DIAS devices, and four bags of THC marihuana edible gummies. At the final meeting, on August 3, 2020, Humphries sold the UC ninety-five DIAS devices, a small quantity of cocaine, and a quarter pound of marijuana. During this transaction, Humphries possessed and displayed a .38 caliber Ruger handgun, which was later determined to have been reported stolen from Monroe, North Carolina.

“A firearm in the hands of a prohibited individual is a serious threat to public safety,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “This individual’s criminal history with firearms and narcotics, including his attempts to distribute devices that create fully automatic weapons, is a blatant disregard of our laws and our safety. We are grateful that he will no longer be a danger to the community.”

At the time of his arrest, Humphries was a convicted felon and was therefore unable to possess a firearm. Humphries had previous convictions for multiple felonies including a drug distribution offense in the Superior Court of Union County, North Carolina.

The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Homeland Security Investigations, and the ATF Firearms Technology Criminal Branch assisted with the investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig M. Principe.


Updated June 27, 2022