A Chelsea man was arrested in Boston for the unlawful trafficking of machinegun conversion devices. Michael Williams, 49, was charged with one count of transferring or possessing a machine gun. According to charging documents, Williams sold several machine gun conversion devices and other firearm accessories to an undercover federal agent. He allegedly met the undercover agent twice at a pre-arranged location, where he completed the transactions. If convicted, Williams could face up to 10 years in prison, along with other penalties. This arrest is a significant step in combatting illegal firearms trafficking and ensuring public safety.
Chelsea Man Arrested for Unlawful Trafficking of Machinegun Conversion Devices
Arrest of Chelsea man
On Friday, July 28, 2023, Michael Williams, a resident of Chelsea, was arrested for his involvement in the illegal sale of machinegun conversion devices. Williams is facing one count of transferring or possessing a machine gun.
Charges against Michael Williams
Williams has been charged with unlawfully transferring or possessing a machine gun. If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, along with up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Williams is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston at 3 p.m. on the same day of his arrest. The court appearance will determine further proceedings and legal steps regarding his case.
Machinegun conversion devices
Machinegun conversion devices are devices that can modify a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm. These devices are designed to increase the rate of fire and lethality of a firearm, and are heavily regulated by federal firearms laws.
Illegal trafficking of firearms
The illegal trafficking of firearms refers to the unlawful buying, selling, or possession of firearms outside the legal channels outlined by federal and state laws. It is a serious criminal offense that contributes to gun violence and poses a threat to public safety.
The arrest of Michael Williams was the outcome of an undercover operation conducted by federal law enforcement agencies. Undercover agents posed as potential buyers of machinegun conversion devices and conducted surveillance to gather evidence against Williams.
Timeline of Events
January 2023 – Agreement to sell
In January 2023, Michael Williams entered into an agreement to sell several machinegun conversion devices and other firearm accessories. This agreement took place between Williams and an undercover federal agent, who was posing as a buyer.
January 12, 2023 – Sale of first machinegun conversion device
On January 12, 2023, Williams sold the first machinegun conversion device to the undercover agent. This transaction was part of the undercover operation, which aimed to gather evidence against Williams for his illegal trafficking activities.
January 13, 2023 – Sale of two additional machinegun conversion devices
The following day, on January 13, 2023, Williams sold two additional machinegun conversion devices to the undercover agent. These sales further added to the evidence against Williams and strengthened the case against him.
Charge of unlawful transferring or possession of a machinegun
Michael Williams has been charged with unlawfully transferring or possessing a machine gun. This charge reflects the serious nature of his involvement in the illegal trafficking of firearms and highlights the potential dangers posed by his actions.
If convicted, Williams could face a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. In addition, he could be subject to up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence imposed will depend on the federal district court judge’s evaluation of the severity of the offense and other relevant factors.
Role of federal district court judge
The federal district court judge plays a crucial role in the sentencing process. They will review the evidence presented, consider the offense’s circumstances, and apply the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and applicable statutes to determine an appropriate sentence for Williams.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy made the announcement regarding the arrest of Michael Williams. As the acting top federal prosecutor in the District of Massachusetts, Levy is responsible for overseeing federal criminal prosecutions and ensuring public safety through the enforcement of federal laws.
Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division
Christopher DiMenna, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the Boston Division, also participated in the announcement. The FBI is responsible for investigating federal crimes and protecting the United States from threats to national security.
Chelsea Police Chief Keith Houghton
Chelsea Police Chief Keith Houghton joined the other officials in making the announcement. As the head of the Chelsea Police Department, Chief Houghton is responsible for ensuring public safety and maintaining law and order within the city.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Dawley
Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Dawley, a member of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit, will be prosecuting the case against Michael Williams. Dawley, as a federal prosecutor, will present the evidence against Williams in court and advocate for his conviction.
Organized Crime & Gang Unit
The Organized Crime & Gang Unit is a specialized unit within the U.S. Attorney’s Office that focuses on investigating and prosecuting cases involving organized criminal enterprises and gang-related activities. They play a crucial role in combatting criminal organizations and ensuring public safety.
Presumption of Innocence
Details in charging documents are allegations
It is important to note that the details presented in the charging documents are mere allegations at this stage. They represent the government’s version of events, and the defense will have an opportunity to challenge and refute these allegations in court.
Defendants are presumed innocent
In the United States criminal justice system, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that Michael Williams is entitled to a fair trial, during which the burden of proof lies with the prosecution to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Burden of proof in a court of law
In a court of law, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. They must provide sufficient evidence to convince the judge or jury of Williams’ guilt. If the prosecution fails to meet this burden, Williams will be acquitted and considered not guilty of the charges against him.
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District of Massachusetts Boston Office
The District of Massachusetts Boston Office can be contacted for further information or inquiries related to this case. They are located at 1 Courthouse Way, Suite 9200, Boston, MA 02210.
Email contact is also available for individuals who wish to communicate with the District of Massachusetts Boston Office. They can be reached at [email protected]
Phone numbers for Boston, Springfield, and Worcester offices
For direct communication, the District of Massachusetts Boston Office can be reached via phone. The contact numbers for their Boston, Springfield, and Worcester offices are as follows:
- Boston: 617-748-3100
- Springfield: 413-785-0235
- Worcester: 508-368-0100
In conclusion, the arrest of Michael Williams for his involvement in the unlawful trafficking of machinegun conversion devices highlights the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat illegal firearms activities. Williams now faces serious legal consequences and will have to defend himself against the charges in a federal court. It is essential to remember that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. The announcement of his arrest, made by Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy, Acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher DiMenna, and Chelsea Police Chief Keith Houghton, underscores the collaborative efforts of federal and local law enforcement to ensure public safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Dawley, along with the Organized Crime & Gang Unit, will prosecute the case, ensuring that justice is served. Individuals seeking further information can reach out to the District of Massachusetts Boston Office through various channels, including email and phone.