ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Justice says that on Thursday, 42-year-old Michael Castelluccio of Fultonville pleaded guilty to unlawfully selling unregistered “ghost guns.” Law enforcement described one such firearm as a short-barreled rifle with “machine gun capability.”
Castelluccio also admitted to building and selling firearms from components ordered online from August to October of 2019. Without a serial number, ghost guns like these are very difficult for law enforcement to trace.
Castelluccio admitted to building and selling rifles with barrels under 16 inches long without applying, paying federally-required taxes, or being approved by the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury. He also said that he modified the trigger on one to fire automatically or semi-automatically.
At his sentencing on April 1, 2021, Castelluccio will face a maximum sentence of 10 years, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. He also has agreed to surrender a pickup truck he used to transport the ghost guns.
Lacking a proper chain of custody, a “ghost gun” is an untraceable Frankenstein weapon concocted from 3D printed materials, unregulated black-market purchases, and anonymous online sales. A responsible gun-owner would have no reason to pursue a ghost gun instead of adhering to safe legal practices.