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Press Release

Watertown Man Sentenced for Illegally Possessing Machineguns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Bruce Fowler, 60, of Watertown, New York, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Norman A. Mordue to a term of imprisonment of 1 year and 1 day to be followed by 3 years of supervised release for illegally possessing three (3) machinegun conversion devices, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.  The sentence followed his March 9, 2016 guilty plea.

It is illegal to possess fully automatic machine guns in the United States, and cannot legally be offered for sale.  Realizing that, Fowler bought conversion devices from a foreign supplier and used them to convert a Glock handgun and an AR-15 rifle to fire as fully automatic.  He also purchased two high capacity magazines for the Glock handgun.  When confronted by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agents about these purchases, Fowler initially denied that he had done so, then admitted to only the purchases known by ATF at the time and surrendered those devices to ATF while concealing that he had purchased yet another device.  When confronted by ATF about that final conversion device, Fowler admitted making that purchase as well, but claimed that he had discarded it and other materials in a trash dumpster.

This case was investigated by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-Syracuse Resident Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ransom P. Reynolds.

Updated July 15, 2016

Violent Crime