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Justice News

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Steven Prewit Pleads Guilty To Federal Firearms Charge In Midland

Midland resident and land surveyor Steven Leonard Prewit, age 54, faces up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty this afternoon to the possession of unregistered silencers in violation of National Firearms Registration requirements, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Dallas Field Office Special Agent in Charge Robert Champion and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Mark Morgan.

Appearing this morning before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts in Midland, Prewit admitted to illegally possessing eight (8) unregistered firearms silencers.  According to court records, a search by the ATF and FBI of both his home and a ranch near Balmorhea on May 2, 2013, uncovered the silencers as well as a number of fully automatic machine guns and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  Specifically, Prewit possessed eight (8) firearms silencers, eighteen (18) fully automatic machine guns, one (1) short barreled rifle and four (4) IEDs; all of which were unregistered.  All eight of the unregistered firearms silencers did not have serial numbers or manufacturer’s markings as required. 

The investigation into Prewit began in March of this year when ATF and FBI agents received information that Prewit was in possession fully automatic machine guns, firearms silencers and IEDs.  An FBI undercover employee was on the ranch with Prewit in both March and April of 2013 when he saw Prewit in possession of multiple fully automatic machine guns, silencers and IEDs.  Prewit admitted to the FBI undercover employee that none of the weapons, silencers and/or IEDs was registered to him and that he knew they should have been.  

Under Title 26, United States Code, Chapter 53, any individual who possesses a machine gun, destructive device, or firearm silencer is required by federal law to register the firearms and/or devices with the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) National Firearms Act Branch (NFA).  The applicant must complete and have approved an ATF Form 4: Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of the Firearm and pay a tax.  After the application is approved, the firearm may be transferred and the applicant will be entered into the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. 

In exchange for Prewit’s guilty plea today, the government has agreed to dismiss counts one and two which involved the possession of the machine guns and explosive devices.  Prewit will remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing later this fall.  Assistant United States Attorney LaTawn Warsaw is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

Updated December 15, 2014