A Whittier man arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with illegal possession of machine guns made his initial court appearance Wednesday.
Patrick C. Ingala, 62, was taken into custody Tuesday after a federal search warrant was served at his home, where officers seized an AR-type short-barreled rifle, five Glock conversion devices or “switches” and 53 firearms, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The conversion devices alter semi-automatic Glock pistols into fully automatic machine guns.
Ingala allegedly ordered the conversion devices last November from a manufacturing company based in China and had the items delivered to his residence, according to an affidavit.
“Since March of this year, ATF, partnering with federal and local law enforcement, have seized dozens of these switches,” said ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Carlos A. Canino. “In addition to taking these machine guns off the street, we have seized National Firearms Act weapons such as silencers, short-barreled rifles and other types of machine guns when recovering these conversion devices. ATF works diligently to stop firearm trafficking schemes so firearms do not end up in the hands of criminals.”
ATF is also working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to identify conversion devices as they come into U.S. ports.
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