According to the evidence presented at trial, in March 2018 Khalid knowingly possessed a firearm that was a fully automatic weapon, specifically an AR-57, and 50 live rounds of ammunition for that model rifle. The defendant was also charged with possession of a non-registered firearm, in his case, a machine gun that had been altered to fire fully automatic. The investigation began when at ATF agent received a report from the owner of Frank’s Gun Shop on Blakiston Avenue in Philadelphia that a customer was firing a fully automatic weapon at their firing range. ATF agents arrived at the gun shop, confronted the defendant and performed a field test on the rifle, determining that the weapon was fully automatic. Agents seized the rifle and through their investigative work found that the defendant is not registered to possess a firearm.
“By owning and firing this illegal weapon, the defendant endangered everyone in his midst,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Thanks to our dedicated partners at ATF and our Office’s trial team, the defendant will no longer freely wander the streets with a dangerous, illegal weapon and will be held accountable for his crime.”
“ATF’s top priority is combating violent crime; one of the ways we accomplish that mission is by keeping firearms out of the hands of violent offenders,” said Donald Robinson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Philadelphia Field Division. “This conviction is a perfect example of the collaborative effort between ATF and our partners at the United States Attorney’s Office in targeting violent offenders and protecting our communities.”
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, three years supervised release, a $500,000 fine and a $200 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Salvatore L. Astolfi.