Weld County man sentenced to almost four years in federal prison for smuggling gun parts

A Weld County man was sentenced on Monday to just under four years in federal prison for smuggling gun parts out of the country and for possessing unregistered firearms.

Michael John Suppes, 47, was sentenced to 46 months and ordered to serve three years of supervised releases after his prison term, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado, news release.

Suppes, as part of a plea agreement, will forfeit 123 firearms, firearm parts, ammunition and nearly $300,000, according to the release.

Not a licensed firearm dealer or manufacturer, Suppes unlawfully engaged in the manufacturing and dealing of firearms, prosecutors said. Between Jan. 25, 2015, and Nov. 5, 2018, Suppes shipped more than 1,200 domestic and international packages.

“Suppes came to the attention of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after it learned of multiple packages that contained concealed gun parts destined for other countries, including Saudi Arabia, India, and Cambodia,” the release said. “The gun parts required an export license, which Suppes did not obtain.”

Between December 2018 and April 2019, Suppes arranged to sell firearms — 30 AR-15 and 20 AK-47 rifles — to a buyer, an undercover U.S. agent in Mexico, along with gun magazines and ammunition. He was arrested in possession of the rifles and the other items.

“Selling AR-15 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles and parts to individuals in Mexico serves only to increase the violence there and the drug trafficking into the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn in the release. “By taking this individual off the streets and putting him in a federal prison, we have stopped a significant pipeline of this deadly trade.”

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol assisted in the this case.

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