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Press Release

Syracuse Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison for Brokering Illegal Gun Sales

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Daniel Morales Acted as Middleman in Sales of Automatic Weapons, Short-Barreled Rifles, and “Ghost Guns”

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Daniel Morales, age 36, of Syracuse, was sentenced today to serve 84 months (7 years) in federal prison for causing the sale of firearms and ammunition to a convicted felon, announced Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon, 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), and Chief Kenton Buckner, City of Syracuse Police Department.

In addition to his sentence of imprisonment, Daniel Morales was also ordered to serve a three (3) year term of supervised release following his release from incarceration.

In pleading guilty previously Daniel Morales admitted that he acted as a middleman in the sale of 13 firearms and ammunition recovered in a joint investigation conducted by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Syracuse Police Department. The investigation in late 2018 and early 2019 included undercover purchases of stolen firearms, fully automatic weapons, illegally short-barreled rifles, and non-commercially fabricated “ghost guns” (pistols and rifles). Morales brokered a series of undercover firearms sales in Syracuse and Solvay from sellers Luis Matos, and later Jovaun Clark.  During these sales, Morales connected the illegal firearms sellers with the undercover buyer for a fee paid in cash. The sales of the firearms included:

  • one (1) Ruger, model 10-22RB Carbine rifle, caliber .22LR
  • one (1) Marlin, model 1894 Carbine rifle, .357 caliber
  • one (1) Marlin, model 1894 Carbine rifle, .357 caliber
  • one (1) stolen Gristmill MFG, Valley Arms model XM177ES, .223/.556 caliber rifle with illegally short barrel
  • one (1) grey and black P80, unserialized 9mm caliber “ghost gun” pistol
  • one (1) black P80, un-serialized .40 caliber “ghost gun” pistol
  • one (1) grey and black P80, unserialized .40 caliber “ghost” gun pistol with a threaded barrel
  • one (1) fully automatic tan and black P80, un-serialized .40 caliber “ghost gun” pistol
  • one stolen (1) Ruger, model Mini-Thirty, 7.62 caliber rifle
  • one (1) grey and black rifle bearing no make, model or serial number, .223 caliber, with an illegally short barrel
  • one (1) fully automatic grey and black P80 9mm caliber unserialized “ghost gun” pistol
  • one (1) Smith and Wesson, model 5906 9mm pistol
  • one (1) black and tan semiautomatic pistol with extendable grip, caliber 5.56 x 45 mm, bearing no serial number.


Luis Matos pled guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms and was sentenced on July 28, 2020, to serve 60-months in federal prison, followed by a 3-year term of supervised release.

Jovaun Clark is charged in a pending indictment with several firearms offenses. He is currently scheduled for trial on November 15, 2021. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and he is innocent until or unless proven guilty

This case was investigated by The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Syracuse Police Department-Special Investigations Division (SPD-SID), and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick.

Updated July 8, 2021

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Firearms Offenses