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Press Release

Syracuse Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing and Selling Firearms and Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Jovaun Clark Admits to Selling Machine Guns, Short-Barreled Rifles, and “Ghost Guns”

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Jovaun Clark, age 45, of Syracuse, pled guilty yesterday to possessing unregistered machine guns and short-barreled rifles, possessing firearms and ammunition while a convicted felon, and selling firearms and ammunition to a convicted felon, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Chief Kenton Buckner, City of Syracuse Police Department, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

As part of his guilty plea, Clark admitted to selling seven firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition to a confidential informant during four meetings in January 2019.  Five of the firearms were “ghost guns” bearing no serial number, two were handguns that had been modified to operate as machine guns, and two were short-barreled rifles. None of the machine guns and short-barreled rifles were registered to the defendant as required by federal law.  In 1999, the defendant was convicted in Onondaga County Court of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a felony offense. The confidential informant to whom Clark sold the firearms and ammunition also was a convicted felon.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 10, 2022, before United States District Judge David N. Hurd in Utica, New York, at which time Clark faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.  The Court has discretion to order the sentences on separate counts to be served concurrently or consecutively in some circumstances. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

This case was investigated by United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Syracuse Police Department, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Sutcliffe and Andrew Beaty.

Updated October 15, 2021

Firearms Offenses