BOSTON – A Brookline man has been arrested for illegally possessing a machine gun.
Stewart Silvestri, 24, was charged with a criminal complaint on one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun and arrested on November 18, 2022 after a first appearance in federal court in Boston by US District Court Judge Judith G. Dein.
“The alleged conduct here is incredibly serious. Mr Silvestri allegedly possessed eight desialized and untraceable ghost guns. Almost impossible to track down, these dangerous weapons contribute directly to the ongoing plague of gun violence we see across the country and across our Commonwealth. Additionally, two of the firearms Mr. Silvestri allegedly possessed were machine guns that could cause extreme damage, destruction and even mass casualties on the fly,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Firearms, including ghost weapons, are deadly weapons and those who illegally possess them are a potential threat to the security of our neighborhoods. We will identify and prosecute these individuals and seek remand whenever possible if doing so will result in keeping those who pose this type of danger off our streets.”
“Illegal possession of fully automatic ‘ghost guns’ is a federal crime that ATF takes very seriously because it threatens the safety of our communities,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Boston Field Division. “ATF will continue to work tirelessly with our local state and federal partners to investigate and arrest those who illegally possess firearms.”
According to the criminal complaint, on October 15, 2022, law enforcement responded to multiple calls for an erratic driver on Route 95 in Rowley, Mass. who had pulled into a weigh station. When they got to the weigh station, law enforcement approached the driver — Silvestri — who said he’d just gotten out of a New Hampshire armory. When he asked for his license and registration, law enforcement observed that Silvestri was allegedly seated on what appeared to be firearms. According to the indictment document, a subsequent search of the vehicle found eight privately made firearms (also known as ghost guns), hundreds of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearm parts. Two of the firearms were fully automatic pistols classified as machine guns.
The charge statute carries a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Penalties are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the US Sentencing Guidelines and the statutes governing the determination of a sentence in a criminal proceeding.
US Attorney Rollins; ATF SAC Ferguson; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett announced today. Assistant US Attorney Philip C. Cheng of Rollins’ Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence and make our neighborhoods safer for all. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a Violent Crime Reduction Strategy that strengthens PSN based on these core principles: foster trust and legitimacy in our communities, support community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, focused and strategic Enforcement priorities and measurement of results.
The information contained in the complaint are allegations. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.