Man previously convicted of illegal gun trafficking pleads guilty to possessing ‘ghost guns’


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- A man who pled guilty to illegal gun trafficking in 2015 pled guilty Tuesday to again having illegal guns, including “ghost guns”, and ammunition.

Jonathan M. Cuney, 38, a part-time resident of East Greenbush, admitted to having a large collection of firearms in two locations, according to the Acting United States Attorney and New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

Cuney’s guilty plea including admitting to the unlawful possession, as a felon, of a Springfield Armory rifle, an FMK Firearms Inc. AR-15-style rifle receiver/frame, and to the possession of three unregistered silencers, between September 9 and November 14, 2019. 

Cuney also admitted to purchasing firearm parts online and having them shipped to East Greenbush as well as Willits, California, where he also lived. Cuney admitted to sending parts to Providence, Rhode Island too where he had had a legitimate firearms business in the past.

Cuney used the firearm parts to make non-serialized handguns, rifles, and silencers, called “ghost guns” because without serial numbers the guns are difficult for law enforcement agencies to track.

Today’s guilty plea is the result of a cross-country investigation that took a dangerous person off the streets.  Jonathan Cuney has a prior conviction for selling untraceable firearms.  After his release from prison, he built ghost guns and acquired other firearms, and maintained large caches of firearms and ammunition in New York and California.  I commend the ATF for investigating Cuney as he traveled across the United States, and for quickly arresting him and removing this threat to our communities.

Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon

ATF conducted searches of storage units Cuney rented in East Greenbush and Redway, California on November 14 and November 20, 2019.

In the East Greenbush storage unit they found:

  • Two rifles,
  • One revolver
  • Four serialized AR-15-style rifle receivers/frames
  • Two completed “ghost guns”
  • Five pistol parts kits
  • Two completed silencers and enough parts to build more than 10 silencers
  • An assorted quantity of firearm parts and accessories, five classified as machineguns under federal law
  • 3,250 rounds of assorted rifle and pistol ammunition

In the Redway, California unit they found:

  • Two Glock pistols
  • Seven additional handguns
  • Three rifles,
  • One shotgun
  • Five machinegun conversion kits
  • More than 10 silencers
  • More than 1,000 rounds of assorted rifle and handgun ammunition

In addition, Cuney pled guilty to the illegal possession of several thousand rounds of ammunition that he purchased at a firearms store through another individual on September 17, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri.

He also pled guilty to the illegal possession of a pistol and a rifle discovered during a traffic stop on November 12, 2019, near Tucson, Arizona.

Cuney was sentenced to 37 months in prison after his December 2015 conviction. He now faces up to 10 years in federal prison and up to three years probation. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on October 19.

Cuney also agreed to give up a variety of firearms, silencers, ammunition, and firearm parts found in both East Greenbush and Redway, California. He also agreed to turn over a pair of handcuffs with key; 56 Monadnock disposable single cuffs; and clothing items, patches, and badges bearing law enforcement acronyms and insignia, including those of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration, all found in the California storage unit.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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