DOLTON, ILL. –-(Ammoland.com)- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents executed a search warrant on the home Leonard “Scrap” Johnson, 32, for selling auto sears for Glock Pistols in the Chicago suburb of Dolton. Agents arrested Johnson and his partner Steve Goley, 23, on federal firearms charges.
Glock Selector Switches
In the past, Chinese websites like Wish.com & Joom.com sold the small Glock Selector Switches that replace the black plate on the popular handgun’s slide. The switch allowed the user to convert the pistol from a semi-automatic firearm to a machine gun. The ATF started tracking the shipments and cracking down on the website’s customers. Most websites have removed the switches, but since most companies are Chinese, the ATF is powerless to charge the sites’ owners with a crime for selling the devices. The ATF has decided to target the buyers of the switches instead of the sites.
The ATF has the information of 2500 people in the country that have ordered the parts from China. Out of the 2500 people, the ATF has only arrested 118 for possessing the devices. These arrests lead to the confiscation of 256 switches. AmmoLand sources inside the ATF reports that the agency plans to move on to others who ordered the switches. Although the Chicago field division has taken the lead on the crackdown, agents have made arrests in Alaska, California, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island.
Agents found over 100 of the switches in Johnson’s residents. The man admitted to agents that he was selling the switches to others for up to $500. Up until a few months ago, these switches were readily available on Wish.com and other websites for between $30 and $75. The ATF has been tracking the sale of the item for over a year. The ATF didn’t state how many of the devices Johnson sold before his arrest.
“Devices that are designed and intended to convert firearms into machine guns pose a significant threat to public safety,” ATF spokesperson Kimberly Nerheim said to the press after the arrests of the two men. “ATF agents in the Chicago Field Division will continue to work diligently with their state, local, and federal partners to identify sources of these devices to ensure the safety of the community.”
In September, Goley sold two of the Glock Selector Switches to ATF informants for $1000. Later in the same month, Goley sold two more devices to an undercover agent posing as the informant’s uncle. The Undercover agent negotiated a deal with Goley for ten more switches at a discount price of $275 per device.
“It’s gonna go to the people who want to go shoot some people, gangbangers, and shit,” Goley told the undercover officer, according to the affidavit filed in the case. “These switches not no joke. Would you be able to get rid of 500 switches?”
Goley was the street level dealer of the pair, and Johnson was the supplier. Goley flipped on Johnson after being arrested on Friday. The raid on Johnson’s apartment took place Monday. With the assistance of local law enforcement, the federal agents recovered 117 auto sears, including some installed on pistols, various drugs, and $8000 in a case.
Johnson ran a successful Snapchat and went by the name of “Savage Crazy,” the affidavit said. He would pose with stacks of cash. Agents are now using those social media posts against him.
At the end of the virtual court session, Goley said, “I love you, Mom.”
The judge is holding both men without bond. In addition to the federal gun charges, the prosecutors are charging both men with various drug charges for cocaine.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.