BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former police officer in Brunswick, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for possession of an unregistered, fully automatic firearm.
According to his plea agreement, James Piccirilli, 38, took an MKE 5.56-m.m. caliber firearm, which had been altered to convert it into a fully automatic short-barreled rifle, bringing the firearm under the regulation of the NFA, to the home of another individual, who was a licensed gun dealer in Maryland.
As detailed in court documents, Piccirilli legally owned non-NFA firearms and had the skill and expertise to convert non-NFA firearms into NFA firearms. Piccirilli admitted that the firearm belonged to him, but it was not registered to him.
In December 2018, Piccirilli attempted to sell the firearm to an ATF undercover agent without ATF’s prior approval. According to information presented to the Court, Piccirilli tried to launder the unregistered firearm by attempting to get the gun dealer to register the illegal firearm and/or sell it so that the sale of the gun would appear to be legal.
This set up the sale with the ATF undercover agent.
As documented through text messages and recorded telephone calls, Piccirilli used evasive language with the ATF undercover agent and tried to conceal the nature of the transaction.
On December 14, 2018, as Piccirilli left his house to complete the transaction, he was apprehended by ATF agents. Investigators executed search warrants on his house and two vehicles, seizing 10 unregistered fully automatic firearms, one unregistered short-barreled rifle and seven unregistered silencers.