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Press Release

Simpson County, Kentucky Resident Guilty Of Making And Possessing Illegal Firearms (Molotov Cocktails)

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

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. today announced the guilty plea of a Simpson County, Kentucky resident, to charges of making and possessing illegal firearms, commonly known as Molotov cocktails, before United States District Judge Greg N. Stivers, on Friday, June 16, 2017, in United States District Court.


Trey Alexander Gwathney-Law, 20, of Franklin, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to counts one and two of a superseding indictment and was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service pending sentencing on October 11, 2017, in Bowling Green.


In court Friday, Gwathney-Law admitted to making and possessing five illegal firearms.


Specifically, according to the plea agreement, on September 27, 2015, Gwathney-Law knowingly made five illegal firearms. All were made using glass bottles. Four of the bottles (one Mountain Dew, one Sprite, and two Dr. Pepper) contained a dark gas/oil mixture liquid with a cloth wick stuffed in the bottle opening. Commonly referred to as a Molotov cocktail. A fifth, illegal firearm was made using a glass Root Beer bottle and contained a dark gas/oil mixture liquid with a piece of green pyrotechnic fuse attached to the opening with an epoxy sealant. The bottle contained a silver CO2 cartridge in the top of the bottle, under the pyrotechnic fuse. The CO2 cartridge contained explosive powder and small pieces of paper which appeared to have been soaked in the same flammable liquid found inside the bottle. Commonly referred to as a Molotov cocktail. Further, Gwathney-Law admitted to possessing the illegal firearms.


At sentencing, the United States will move to dismiss counts three and counts four of the superseding indictment and agree that a sentence of 20 years, followed by a three year period of supervised release is the appropriate disposition in this case.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jo Lawless and is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Kentucky State Police (KSP) and the Franklin, Kentucky Police Department.

Updated June 21, 2017

Violent Crime