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Jacksonville Man Sentenced To More Than 5 Years For Distributing Illegal, Unregistered Firearms

Below is an official statement from the U.S. Attorney Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Jacksonville, Florida – Chief United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Lucas Shirley II (28, Jacksonville) to five years and five months in federal prison for transferring unregistered short-barreled rifles. Shirley pleaded guilty on August 17, 2023.

According to court documents, on January 4, 2023, an undercover (UC) agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and a confidential informant (CI) went to Shirley’s home in Jacksonville posing as leaders of a motorcycle gang. Shirley sold the CI three privately manufactured rifles (to include a machinegun, a short-barreled rifle, and a combination machinegun short-barreled rifle) and a firearm silencer. None of the firearms were registered in the National Firearms Registrations and Transfer Record, as required by law. Inside the home, the UC saw various tools and machines suitable for manufacturing firearm components and accessories.

In the weeks that followed, the CI, UC, and Shirley spoke on the phone and exchanged text messages about firearms Shirley was manufacturing. Shirley told the CI he had armor-piercing ammunition and the firearms he was building were like the ones that U.S. Navy SEALs carry in battle. Through text messages, Shirley also sent the UC photographs of short-barreled rifles and firearm silencers.

On January 24, 2023, the UC went to Shirley’s home and bought four short-barreled rifles equipped with firearm silencers. Shirley confirmed that two of the rifles were machineguns. These silencers and rifles were again not registered in the National Firearms Registrations and Transfer Record. Shirley also gave the UC three privately manufactured derringer-style pistols with the understanding the UC would pay for them at a later date.

On February 2, 2023, the UC and other agents arrested Shirley and executed a federal search warrant. During the search, they found a privately manufactured pistol, a privately manufactured rifle equipped with a silencer, over 200 rounds of ammunition, approximately 12 machinegun conversion devices, a template for manufacturing machinegun conversion devices, two bags containing methamphetamine and marijuana, a pipe suitable for smoking methamphetamine, and various firearm accessories and parts, including components that had been created using 3D printers. They also found tools, raw materials, and equipment, including a 3D printer, which can be used to manufacture firearms, silencers, and machinegun conversion devices. Shirley has never been licensed to manufacture or sell firearms.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Coolican.

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 to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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