OKLAHOMA CITY – Christopher Steven Ledbetter, 29, of McLoud, Oklahoma, has been arrested and charged with unlawfully possessing a fully automatic machinegun, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint, in March 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) learned that Ledbetter might be in possession of a fully automatic machinegun. The FBI then reviewed publicly available materials on the internet associated with Ledbetter that depicted Ledbetter on multiple occasions shooting what appeared to be a fully automatic machinegun. The affidavit further indicates yesterday the FBI encountered Ledbetter in Oklahoma City driving a 2017 Jeep Wrangler vehicle. In that vehicle, the FBI discovered a fully automatic AK-47 style carbine machinegun.
Federal law prohibits the possession, except under limited circumstances, of a fully automatic machinegun as defined in the National Firearms Act. The affidavit further indicates that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched its federal licensing system. That search determined that Ledbetter does not have the required licenses to possess a machinegun.
Today, Ledbetter made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell in Oklahoma City. Judge Mitchell ordered Ledbetter be detained pending further proceedings in the case.
If found guilty, Ledbetter faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine.
This case is a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Oklahoma City Field Office, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Dallas Field Division, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, as referenced in the affidavit, along with other law enforcement partners. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Dillon and Jessica Perry are prosecuting the case.
The public is reminded that charges are merely allegations, and Ledbetter is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Reference is made to public filings for more information.