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Press Release

Salt Lake Man Convicted of Importing, Selling Devices to Convert Semi-Automatic Handguns to Machine Guns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – A federal jury convicted Gary Mark Hill, age 42, of Salt Lake City of unlawfully engaging in the business of importing and dealing machine guns and illegal possession and transfer of machine guns Wednesday afternoon following a four-day trial in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

The jury deliberated less than two hours before returning the verdict.

A two-count indictment returned in May charged Hill with knowingly engaging in the business of importing and dealing in firearms – specifically machine gun conversion devices for Glock handguns without having paid a special occupational tax required and without having registered, both required under federal law.

The indictment alleged that from about February 2017 through March 2017, Hill knowingly possessed and transferred the machine gun conversion devices to others. The machine gun conversion devices, known as Glock auto switches, are machine guns under federal law because they are parts designed solely and exclusively for the purpose of converting a semi-automatic handgun into a machine gun.

“The defendant purchased machine guns at bargain prices from China, and knowingly sold them on Utah’s street corners at a steep markup,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “In this day and age, there are few transactions more dangerous than an anonymous and unregulated exchange of cash for machine guns.  This intentional conduct showed a reckless disregard for our safety at its best, and certainly exposed Utah to risks that the community should not have to bear. The jury had little difficulty in holding the defendant accountable.”

Evidence at trial showed that Hill, a former investment banker, sold multiple illegal machine gun conversion devices for Glock handguns to three undercover ATF agents on February 27, 2017, March 1, 2017, and March 8, 2017. During the execution of a search warrant, agents found five additional machine gun conversion devices in his residence and six conversion devices in his car.

U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Kimball set sentencing in the case for March 5, 2020.  Hill faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each of the two counts of conviction.  Hill will remain out of custody and subject to supervision on conditions of release pending sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Salt Lake City prosecuted the case.  The ATF investigated the case.


Updated December 19, 2019

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