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Press Release

Harrisburg Man Accused of Unlawful Gun Possession and Manufacturing

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois
Lauren Barry, Public Affairs Officer

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A Harrisburg man is facing federal charges for allegedly possessing, manufacturing and importing unregistered firearms.

A federal grand jury charged Yaroslav Vishnevski, 31, with three counts of receipt or possession of unregistered firearm, one count of manufacturing NFA weapon without paying special occupancy tax, one count of illegal importation of a firearm and one count of possession of firearm with obliterated serial number.

“Individuals who produce privately-made firearms (PMF) must adhere to state and federal laws to register the devices to help ensure responsible ownership,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our state and federal partners to combat unlawful gun trafficking.”

The charges stem from an alleged incident on April 22 in which federal officials intercepted a parcel in route and addressed to Vishnevski from China containing two firearm silencers.

“Importing and the manufacturing of unregistered NFA devices is illegal. Possession of unregistered NFA devices is illegal. Possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number is illegal,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Bernard G. Hansen.  “A case like this demonstrates the immense value of collaborative law enforcement efforts in curbing gun violence in our communities. I am thankful for our partnership with Homeland Security and their relentless efforts to intercept the illegal importation of firearms and our strong partnership with the Illinois State Police which is a key in our fight against those who illegally put firearms on our streets.”

On May 2, the Illinois State Police with assistance from ATF and Homeland Security Investigations conducted a controlled delivery of the silencers to Vishnevski’s address and executed a search warrant of his residence.

“Special agents of the Illinois State Police are continuously getting stronger and better at pursuing gun trafficking of any type, whether on a large or small scale, and we will sustain this effort with our federal partners to identify, investigate, and stop those who flood our communities with illegal guns,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

As alleged in the complaint, law enforcement recovered the two silencers, a rifle with another unregistered silencer attached, three 3D printers, suspected 3D-printed silencers, 3D-printed firearm frames and receivers in different stages of manufacturing and two privately-made, unregistered short-barreled rifles.

“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our communities, and we will take all necessary steps to ensure that the people who possess weapons have acquired them in compliance with all laws and regulations,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Sean Fitzgerald. “The indictment of Vishnevski shows just how far HSI and our law enforcement partners will go when investigating the unlawful manufacturing and importing of firearms.”

During the search, law enforcement also observed a CNC machine, commonly known as a Ghost Gunner. Ghost Gunner machines are typically used to manufacture firearm receivers to complete production.

As outlined in the indictment, the Government is also seeking forfeiture of Vishnevski’s 9-millimeter Glock, a PMF AR-9 style rifle, a PMF AR-15 style rifle and a 12-gauge short-barreled shotgun.

An indictment is merely a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

ISP, ATF and HSI are contributing to the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Bloodworth is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 22, 2024