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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Schuylkill County Man Charged With The Illegal Possession Of Unregistered Machineguns

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today the filing of criminal charges against James Augustus Brauer, age 50, of Muir, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  A Criminal Information charged that on January 24, 2012, in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, Brauer illegally possessed (1) a fully functional unregistered machinegun, and (2) an unmarked and unregistered drop in auto sear—which is a specific part that makes a semi-automatic rifle fire fully automatic when placed into the weapon.   

United States Attorney Peter J. Smith stated that the charge is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pennsylvania State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney John Gurganus is prosecuting the case. 

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court. 

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 10 years’ imprisonment, a three year term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 9, 2015