Fort Worth man accused of manufacturing and shipping thousands of machine gun converters

Fort Worth man accused of manufacturing and shipping thousands of machine gun converters

The Dallas ATF arrested a man for allegedly selling “glock switches” to Fort Worth gangs and shipping thousands of devices across the country.

FORT WORTH, Texas – Dallas ATF made a major arrest and busted a major manufacturer of machine gun conversion kits.

They arrested Xavier Watson of Fort Worth for making thousands of machine gun conversion kits, known on the street as glock switches.

“He had about 80 of these conversion devices in his residence, but also had two 3D printers that were in the process of making hundreds maybe 50 more and firearms in his residence,” the officer said. James Vanvliet, Asst. CAS, ATF.

They also arrested Ayoob Wali, Jose Corral Santillan and Motavion Jones for selling the devices.

A glock switch is a small plastic device that is placed on the back of a semi-automatic weapon, usually a glock. They can be made with a 3D printer and sold for a hundred dollars apiece and there are thousands of them on the streets.

“It’s no coincidence that some of the filming scenes we see now, there are more gunshots and more shell casings at crime scenes as evidence that these devices and machine guns are being put on the streets,” Vanvliet said.

In this most recent case, the ATF says Watson was the main manufacturer that distributed the devices to Fort Worth gangs and shipped thousands of devices across the country in children’s toys.

“Hiding them in Mr. Potato’s head toys. Mixed in with Mr. Potato’s mustache and eyes were machine gun conversion devices, plastic hard metal devices. Most people probably wouldn’t recognize if you didn’t know what you were looking for,” Vanvliet said.

The ATF says these devices on the streets pose a threat to the public and law enforcement who may not recognize the device when they see it on the street.

“It’s scary and it can make violent crime worse.”

During the investigation, ATF officers seized over 650 conversion devices.

According to court documents, in early 2022, law enforcement in Fort Worth noticed an increase in shootings involving the devices.

Court documents indicate that several defendants identified Corral, a gang member, as a source of supply. Corral and his associate, Jones, led agents to Wali, who eventually identified Watson as the printer.

According to court documents, in March 2022, an undercover agent, along with a confidential informant who connected to Jones via Instagram, purchased 10 machine gun conversion devices from Jones. The accused used a minor nicknamed “boyfriend” to deliver the devices to the officer. The following month, the agent purchased eight switches from Corral.

The agent asked Corral if he had printed the switches himself; he would have answered in the negative, but “I got the guy who got the printer”. The undercover officer then heard Corrall make a call to a man he referred to as “whale”, later identified as Wali. The agent then asked if he could meet Wali, but Corral said the man was “paranoid”. Shortly after, officers observed Corral meeting Wali inside his car and then emerging with a bulging backpack under his sweatshirt.

Corral and Wali were arrested on May 3; Jones was arrested on June 6.

Wali initially claimed to have found the machine gun devices in a vehicle he purchased, but later admitted that his supplier was a man named “Xavier”, later identified as Watson.

According to the complaint, an undercover ATF agent then bought a total of 33 conversion devices and a 3D-printed AR-15 style gun from Mr. Watson, who boasted he could produce around 400 switches a day. on two sets of 3D printers. in his living room. He used a tablet to load the printing instructions from the conversion device onto the printer.

The agent met Watson at his home on October 18 and 26. On both occasions, Watson assembled the conversion devices and showed the officer how to insert a conversion device into an AR-type firearm. On the second occasion, he showed the undercover agent the 3D printers and printed the switches while he waited. Watson acknowledged that he knew some of his buyers were selling the switches and said he had previously sent devices to recipients concealed in a children’s toy.

A criminal complaint is only an allegation of criminal behavior, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court.

If convicted, Watson faces up to ten years in federal prison.

Corral pleaded guilty on June 22 to unlawful possession of machine guns and was sentenced on October 7 to 57 months in federal prison. Jones pleaded guilty to the same charge on August 24 and is expected to be sentenced on December 13. Wali pleaded guilty on November 16 and is expected to be sentenced on January 18, 2023.

The ATF Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation with assistance from the Fort Worth Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Frank Gatto is prosecuting the case.

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