A former resident of Grant County, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 27 months in prison, and three years of supervised release for possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a machinegun, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. SCHUYLER PYATTE BARBEAU, 31, of Springdale, Washington, pleaded guilty after the start of his trial in June 2017. BARBEAU altered a short-barreled rifle to make it a fully automatic machinegun, and then attempted to sell it via a person who was working with law enforcement. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones told him, “Your thought process became dominated by violence and a desire to take the lives of law enforcement…. You showed a willingness to put a fully automatic firearm in commerce with no idea of how it would be used and how many lives would be lost.”
“This defendant violated the law by producing a fully automatic and therefore dangerous machine gun,” said U. S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “What made his conduct even worse were his threats against law enforcement all made while he idolized people such as Timothy McVeigh.”
According to records filed in the case, in October 2015, BARBEAU contacted a person who was secretly working with law enforcement and indicated he wanted to sell a short-barreled rifle that he had converted to automatic operation –i.e., he made it into an illegal machine gun. In November 2015, BARBEAU brought the weapon to the person working with law enforcement and said he wanted to sell it as soon as possible. When he met with the person in December 2015, to collect the money from the ‘sale,’ BARBEAU was arrested.
At various meetings regarding the possible sale of the firearm, BARBEAU was recorded talking about his intent to shoot law enforcement if they attempted to arrest him or interfere with his activities. BARBEAU was recorded stating: “I’ve got guns and body armor and I’m going to shoot and kill and it’s gonna be a big firefight if they (FBI) do come after me.” BARBEAU also praised Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh as his hero, and served as a security guard at the armed standoff at Bundy Ranch in Nevada.
The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Woods, Todd Greenberg and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Manca. Ms. Manca is a Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute firearms cases in federal court.