MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Timothy John Watson, of Ranson, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 60 months of incarceration for unlawfully possessing a firearm silencer, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced.
Watson, 31, pleaded guilty in March 2021 to one count of “Possession of Unregistered Firearm Silencer.” Watson admitted to having an unregistered silencer in November 2020 in Jefferson County.
The government presented evidence today that Watson’s conduct also involved his manufacture and transfer of hundreds of machinegun conversion devices for AR-15 style rifles, also known as “drop in auto sears,” to nearly 800 individuals including individuals whom he had reason to believe were adherents to an extremist political movement referred to as “Boogaloo,” a term referencing an impending civil war or violent uprising against the government for perceived incursions on U.S. Constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment. From those sales, the FBI opened matters involving 58 individuals, resulting to date in three firearms-related arrests and one conviction. Many of the investigations remain ongoing.
Watson was ordered to forfeit the silencer, all 3D-printed items that the government will argue are machinegun conversion devices, the 3D printers, 3D printer parts, and 3D printer supplies, as well as a U.S. Postal Service package containing the same conversion devices. All items were seized during a search in November 2020.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jarod J. Douglas and Lara Omps-Botteicher prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service continues its investigation.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.