Columbus Man Pleads Guilty to Making and Selling ‘Ghost Guns’

Editors Note: The following press release is directly from ATF. Regular readers of AmmoLand News know our stance on the unaccountable Federal Agency: No comment. We invite our readers to leave their hard-hitting insights in the comments below.

Glock Switch for sale Quarkscm com screengrab 3-7-2022
Glock Switch File Photo

COLUMBUS, Ohio – -( local man pleaded guilty in federal court today to making and selling “ghost guns,” untraceable homemade weapons made in whole or in part with a 3D printer.

Court documents detail that Thomas Develin, 25, of Columbus, also made antisemitic and violent statements online while employed to provide security services at local synagogues and Jewish schools.

Develin admitted in his plea agreement that he created ghost guns to sell for profit. He also made and possessed homemade conversion devices to convert semi-automatic AR-15 rifles and Glock-type pistols into fully automatic machine guns. Develin admitted that he made and sold firearms that he knew were illegal.

Develin advertised online that he possessed and was selling 3D-printed sears, which are devices designed to convert semiautomatic AR-type rifles into fully automatic rifles. Devices that are intended to convert semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic firearms are considered “machineguns” under federal law. Other messages on Develin’s phone stated that he had manufactured a two-handed firearm with an overall length under 26 inches, which is illegal.

On March 31, the day Develin was arrested, agents discovered in his vehicle: night vision goggles, ballistic plates, a ballistic helmet, first aid equipment, and a large quantity of ammunition, including several loaded magazines.

Agents discovered more than 25 firearms in Develin’s residence and vehicle while executing search warrants in March and April 2022. They also discovered two IED manuals.

Develin admitted in his plea agreement that in late March 2022, he knew law enforcement may be coming for him so he went to the property surrounding the cabin of a person he knew to hide and burn illegal firearms parts. In text messages with another person, Develin also discussed hiding and destroying incriminating evidence. Develin admitted he took these acts with the intent to obstruct the investigation.

The defendant has been charged in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas with various crimes, including making terroristic threats. Those charges remain pending.

Illegally making firearms and unlawfully engaging in the business of manufacturing and dealing machine guns are federal crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Manufacturing and dealing any firearms without a license are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced the guilty plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Sarah D. Morrison. The law enforcement agencies were assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Assistant United States Attorneys Peter K. Glenn-Applegate and Jessica W. Knight are representing the United States in this case.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

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That guy sounds like he is a couple sandwiches shy of a picnic, but still yet what is the point of having all of that gear, if it is at home. You do not know when the next mall shooting or Uvalde is going to happen. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Cops keep the same gear and loaded weapons and magazines in their car, what’s wrong with us doing it. how do we know this guy just didn’t take all of it out of his vehicle, coming from or going… Read more »

Dogma Factor

The feds like filing changes for everything under the sun and braging about it. It’s like them throwing toilet paper on the wall to see if it sticks, it’s just art to them! The more charges (toilet paper) they bring to court with a synthetic liberal art loving judge the more empowered they feel. The guy may have been a idiot but per the info in this article there’s only one charge it’s going to stick and that’s for making conversion kits for sale. Unless he made a great plea deal he is an idiot for saying guilty. Heck there’s… Read more »


One problem with carrying equipment is that vehicles are a lot easier to search than houses. Drug dog alerts are interpreted by the handler, and can be “misinterpreted.” Then, if your equipment gets seized, you have to fight to get it back.

It just depends on desire tocarry it vs. threat of losing it.


Oh, look! The government thugs are bragging about armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, coercion, and violation of rights again.


Play stupid games and win stupid prizes.


Being an antisemitic asshole isn’t a crime, unless you act on that twisted view of reality. Seems he confessed having committed a number of firearm crimes. If you do the crime, do the time.