LAS VEGAS — A local area resident made his initial appearance in federal court Sept. 4, for illegally possessing machine guns and unregistered firearm suppressors following a probe led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
Justin Pham, 30, of Las Vegas, was charged with one count of illegal possession of a machine gun and two counts of possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. A jury trial has been scheduled before U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey Nov. 3.
According to the indictment and arguments made in court, on or about Aug. 15, Pham possessed three Glock semi-automatic firearms that he had modified to fire as fully automatic weapons without manual reloading. In addition, Pham possessed five firearm silencers that were not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
As alleged, law enforcement became aware of Pham after an anonymous tipster reported that Pham had made threats that he was planning to commit a shooting. Pham also told the tipster that he had converted firearms into automatic weapons by using a 3-D printer. Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Pham’s home and vehicle. They located automatic weapons, which were Glock semi-automatic handguns that Pham converted into fully automatic firearms through Glock switches created from a 3-D printer. Additionally, law enforcement located the five suppressors, as well as numerous firearms and firearm parts, ammunition, and a 3-D printer.
Pham faces a statutory maximum sentence of: (a) ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the illegal possession of a machine gun charge; and (b) ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. In addition to imprisonment and monetary penalties, Pham also faces a period of supervised release and restitution.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is the product of a coordinated investigation by HSI, ATF, LVMPD, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Ihler is prosecuting the case.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has also filed charges on behalf of the State of Nevada against Pham.