East Greenbush man sentenced to 7 years in prison for possessing ‘ghost guns’

Rensselaer County
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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Jonathan M. Cuney, 38, a part-time resident of East Greenbush, has been sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison for unlawfully possessing firearms including “ghost guns” and ammunition. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said Cuney is also a member of the Proud Boys and joined in 2018.

Cuney pleaded guilty in June 2021 on the firearm charges, admitting that from at least August 2018 until November 12, 2019, he manufactured “ghost guns.” Cuney admitted that he purchased firearms parts from several dozen online retailers, and had these items shipped to East Greenbush, Willits, California and Providence, Rhode Island.

DOJ said he maintained a residence in California and formerly maintained a legitimate firearms business in Rhode Island. Cuney then used these firearms parts to manufacture non-serialized handguns and rifles, and silencers.  These are often called “ghost guns” because they do not have serial numbers, making them more difficult for law enforcement to track.

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 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

Cuney has a prior conviction for unlawful gun trafficking.  In December 2015, he pled guilty, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, to transporting and selling firearms with obliterated serial numbers while he was a licensed firearms dealer.  He was sentenced to 37 months in prison, and returned to East Greenbush in April 2017 upon his release.

Cuney pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of several thousand rounds of ammunition that he purchased at a firearms store on September 17, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri. He also pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of a pistol and a rifle discovered during a traffic stop on November 12, 2019, near Tucson, Arizona.

As part of his plea agreement, Cuney agreed to give up a variety of firearms, silencers, ammunition, and firearm parts found in both East Greenbush and California. He also gave up:

  • A pair of handcuffs with key
  • 56 Monadnock disposable single cuffs
  • Patches and badges bearing law enforcement acronyms and insignia, including a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ball cap, FBI badges, FBI patches, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) patches, and DEA badges.

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