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Press Release

United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz Announces Several Federal Indictments for Firearm Crimes Involving "Switches" and Related Offenses

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

United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz today announced the recent indictments of nine individuals charged in federal court for violations of federal gun laws. United States Attorney Ritz also reinforced his commitment to federal prosecution of individuals who illegally possess machine gun conversion devices (also known as “switches” or “auto sears”) and who commit other federal firearm offenses. 

“Our citizens deserve to feel safe in their city, and that’s why there is no higher priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office than reducing violent crime in Memphis,” said United States Attorney Ritz.  “As these recent indictments show, federal authorities in the Memphis area are vigorously enforcing federal firearms laws, including the laws prohibiting highly dangerous machine gun conversion devices.  Those individuals who are driving the violence in our city will face significant federal penalties where the evidence establishes violations of federal law.”

Among the indictments returned by the federal grand jury in Memphis are a multi-count indictment charging a convicted felon with possession of firearms, one of which was converted to a machine gun with a conversion device, commonly known as a “switch”. Wayne Sanders, 31, of Memphis, Tennessee was indicted on June 11, 2024, after a federal criminal complaint was filed against him on April 24, 2024.

The indictment alleges that on or about February 24, 2024, Sanders possessed a Romarm Cugir 7.62 caliber pistol; a Glock .45 caliber pistol; and a Glock 9mm caliber pistol, which had been converted to a machine gun.  If convicted of these offenses, Sanders faces up to fifteen years of imprisonment.

According to information presented in court, the United States Marshal Service Task Force Officers attempted to arrest Sanders pursuant to an arrest warrant based on the criminal complaint when Sanders pointed another illegally possessed firearm at one of the task force officers before fleeing.  Officers recovered the firearm, and Sanders was subsequently arrested without further incident.

The following defendants were also charged with federal crimes involving switches:

  • Jeremy Walker, 32. Walker was indicted on March 12, 2024, for drug and gun crimes, including possessing a firearm with a switch. 
  • Leon Moore, 26. Moore was indicted on May 30, 2024, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a machine gun. 
  • Camron Taylor, 21. Taylor was indicted on May 30, 2024, for possessing a machine gun. 
  • Montez Carr, 20. Carr was indicted on May 30, 2024, for possessing a machine gun. 

The following defendants were charged with other firearm or violent crime related offenses:

  • Jocquel Williams, 28. Williams was indicted on May 30, 2024, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. 
  • Al Kendrick Malone, 22. Malone was indicted on May 30, 2024, for carjacking and for brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. 
  • Cedric Arnold, 35. Arnold was indicted on May 30, 2024, for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition. 
  • Jartavius Lewis, 20. Lewis was indicted on May 30, 2024, for possessing a machine gun. 

These cases are being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Gun Task Force. Anyone with information about switches or other federal gun crimes can call 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867).

The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and convicted through due process of law.  If convicted, each defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of the factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.

These indictments are 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, using data-driven methods to set focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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For more information, please contact the Media Relations Team at Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Facebook or on X at @WDTNNews for office news and updates.


Updated June 13, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods