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Press Release

Martinsburg Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Unlawful Possession, Manufacturing, and Trafficking of Ghost Guns Sold as Part of “Hit Kits”

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

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A resident of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court to 120 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, on his convictions of possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of firearms, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States District Judge Stephanie L. Haines imposed the sentence on Harry Miller, 48. His sentencing follows earlier guilty pleas from Miller and two co-defendants, Craig Zahradnik and Wayne Farabaugh, in the case.

According to information presented to the Court, Miller admitted that, between May 2022 and April 2023, he and his co-defendants were part of a conspiracy to engage in the business of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license. Specifically, Miller and Zahradnik were partners in an illicit business operation engaged in the manufacturing and trafficking of privately made firearms—so-called ghost guns—with Miller purchasing the components and maintaining many of the weapons at a storage unit that Zahradnik, a retired police detective, controlled. Beginning in July of 2022, Zahradnik provided $5,000 payments to Miller that Miller then deposited into his bank account, totaling $30,000. Miller used these funds to purchase the firearm components from outside of Pennsylvania and repaid Zahradnik with the proceeds from the gun sales, including from the sale of what Miller marketed as “hit kits,” consisting of a 9-millimeter Polymer80 handgun with no serial number, a threaded barrel to attach a silencer, a silencer, subsonic ammunition, and latex gloves.

Miller was permitted and assisted by Farabaugh in using machinery at Farabaugh’s place of employment to drill the components for ghost guns. Miller also used this equipment to manufacture untraceable weapons and weapon components that were required to be registered with the government under the National Firearms Act, including silencers, machineguns, and short-barrel rifles. Zahradnik transported the “hit kits” and other firearms to and from Miller for scheduled buys. On other occasions, Miller and Zahradnik transported firearms together.

In March 2023, Zahradnik transferred a firearm and ammunition to Miller, knowing that Miller intended to sell, dispose of, or transfer the firearm and ammunition in furtherance of a felony, and unlawfully transferred firearms that were not registered to him. Zahradnik and Farabaugh both admitted that they knew Miller was a convicted felon and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms.

During his plea hearing, Miller further pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a machinegun, illegal trafficking in firearms, and unlawfully engaging in the business of manufacturing and dealing in firearms.

“Harry Miller, a convicted felon who could not lawfully possess a firearm, made tens of thousands of dollars manufacturing and selling ‘hit kits’ containing untraceable ghost guns, silencers, ammunition, and latex gloves,” U.S. Attorney Olshan said. “Today’s 10-year sentence reflects the egregiousness of Miller’s illicit business, which saw untraceable firearms distributed throughout our western Pennsylvania community. This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to root out the unlawful trafficking of firearms and hold those who endanger the public accountable under federal law.”

“Firearms trafficking is a primary focus of ATF,” said Eric DeGree, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “Miller’s criminal activities fueled the violence in our communities, and the firearms he trafficked will remain a threat for years. ATF is committed to identifying, disrupting, and prosecuting those who illegally manufacture, possess, and traffic in firearms with our unique resources and expertise to protect our neighborhoods.”

Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Sheehan-Balchon prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the investigation that led to the prosecutions. This case was prosecuted under the new criminal provisions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Congress enacted and the President signed in June 2022. The Act is the first federal statute specifically designed to target the unlawful trafficking and straw-purchasing of firearms.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated May 15, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses