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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jonesville man sentenced to 12 months in prison for possessing unregistered silencer

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Jonesville man was sentenced Wednesday to one year and one day in prison for possessing a silencer.

John Wesley Smith, 40, of Jonesville, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of possessing an unregistered firearm (a firearm silencer, firearm muffler and suppressor). He was also sentenced to one year of supervised release. According to the June 30, 2016 guilty plea, Louisiana State Police officers were surveilling a house in a Jonesville neighborhood on September 1, 2015 while working another investigation. State police observed Smith enter the home and confronted him when he emerged. While accompanying Smith to his vehicle to retrieve his identification, the officer saw an M4 rifle with a scope, silencer and large capacity magazine placed barrel down in the front seat. When asked about the weapon, Smith told the officers he made the silencer from parts of an old boat. Silencers and silencer parts are defined as firearms according to federal law and are required to have serial numbers and be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The illegal silencer Smith possessed was not registered and had no serial number.  Officers seized the M4 rifle with the silencer, and they told Smith that silencers must be registered and have a serial number.  When Smith was arrested on March 3, 2016 at his home, agents found methamphetamine and marijuana in Smith’s pants pocket along with a 22 caliber pistol strapped to his ankle.  During a search of Smith’s property, agents also found three more homemade, illegal, unregistered silencers on a workbench in a shed. 

The ATF and the Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael O’Mara prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated October 20, 2016