September 2, 2022

Jackson Felon Pleads Guilty to Using 3D-Printers to Manufacture Machine guns

Morgan Howard

A Jackson man pled guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of engaging in business as a manufacturer of firearms.

According to court documents 41-year-old Kent Edward Newhouse possessed firearms on or about July 13, 2022 and July 20, 2022, and engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms from April to July 2022.

In April 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered through a confidential informant that Newhouse was using 3D-printers to manufacture auto-sears, which are firearm components designed to cause semi-automatic firearms to function as fully automatic machineguns.

Under federal law, auto-sears are themselves machineguns.  On July 13, 2022, Newhouse sold a confidential informant a firearm and several auto-sears.  On July 20, 2022, a search warrant was executed at Newhouse’s residence, where additional firearms and auto-sears were located.  The government also obtained videos of Newhouse operating fully functional machineguns.  Newhouse was previously convicted of felony sale of controlled substances in Madison County in 2009.

“The use of 3-D printers to unlawfully manufacture firearms, and to make devices to convert semiautomatic firearms into machine guns, poses a real and current threat to our communities,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn.  “ATF is committed to investigate and seek prosecution of these cases to the fullest extent of the law in order to protect our citizens.”

Newhouse will be sentenced on December 2, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.  He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of felon in possession of a firearm; and 10 years and a $250,000 fine for engaging in business as a manufacturer of firearms.  A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Jackson Police Department investigated the case.

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