Fort Worth Manufacturer Charged in Glock Switch Case

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 for sale Quarkscm com screengrab 3-7-2022

Texas – -(AmmoLand.com)- A Fort Worth man who allegedly manufactured and sold thousands of machinegun conversion devices – small, 3D-printed gadgets that convert ordinary firearms into fully automatic machineguns – has been federally charged, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

Xavier Desean Watson, was charged via criminal complaint with possession and transfer of machine guns. He was arrested without incident in the parking lot of his apartment complex on Thursday night and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton in Fort Worth on Friday. Three additional conversion device sellers, Ayoob Wali, 23, Jose Corral Santillan, 19, and Montavion Jones, 20, were charged earlier this year.

Over the course of the investigation, ATF agents seized more than 650 conversion devices, colloquially known as “switches” (installed in Glock-style pistols) or “sears” (installed in semi-automatic rifles).

“As simple to manufacture as they are quick to install, conversion devices turn regular firearms into machineguns capable of inflicting tremendous harm in a few split seconds,“ said U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. “Imagine hardened criminals armed not only with pistols, potentially lethal in their own right, but also with automatic firearms rivaling those carried by the U.S. military. These half-inch pieces of plastic are putting our people at risk. We cannot let these devices proliferate on our streets.”

“Machinegun conversion devices pose a serious threat to public safety and have been increasingly used in violent gun crime. This investigation is a clear example of the relentless pursuit by ATF along with our partners to disrupt not only those possessing and using these weapons but also their suppliers,” said James VanVliet Acting Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Dallas Field Division.

According to court documents, in early 2022, Fort Worth law enforcement noted a surge in shootings involving conversion devices, which allow gunmen to fire multiple rounds of ammunition in quick succession with a single depression of the trigger.

(Conversion devices turn legal firearms into machineguns, which are generally unlawful for non-licensed civilians. A pistol equipped with a conversion device can fire up to 1200 rounds per minute – a faster rate of fire than the standard M-4 machinegun issued to U.S. military servicemembers. A standard 3D printer #ad can produce about 100 plastic switches every 72 hours.)

Multiple criminal defendants identified Mr. Corral, a gang member, as a source of supply. Mr. Corral and his associate, Mr. Jones, led agents to Mr. Wali, who eventually identified Mr. Watson as the printer.

According to court documents, in March 2022, an undercover agent, accompanied by a confidential informant who connected with Mr. Jones via Instagram, purchased 10 machinegun conversion devices from Mr. Jones. The defendant used a juvenile dubbed “little buddy” to deliver the devices to the agent. The following month, the agent purchased eight switches from Mr. Corral.

The agent asked Mr. Corral if he printed the switches himself; he allegedly replied that he did not, but “I got the guy that got the printer.” The undercover agent then overheard Mr. Corrall place a call to a man he referred to as “Whale,” later identified as Mr. Wali. The agent later asked if he could meet Mr. Wali, but Mr. Corral said the man was “paranoid.” Shortly thereafter, agents observed Mr. Corral meet up with Mr. Wali inside his car, then emerge with a bulging backpack under his sweatshirt.

Mr. Wali and Mr. Corral were arrested on May 3; Mr. Jones was arrested on June 6.

Mr. Wali initially claimed he found the machine gun devices in a vehicle he purchased, but later admitted his supplier was a man named “Xavier,” later identified as Mr. Watson.

According to the complaint, an undercover ATF agent went on to purchase a total of 33 conversion devices and a 3D-printed AR-15 style pistol from Mr. Watson, who bragged that he could produce roughly 400 switches a day on two 3D printers set up in his living room. He used a tablet to load conversion device printing directions onto the printer.

The agent met Mr. Watson at his home on Oct. 18 and Oct. 26. On both occasions, Mr. Watson assembled the conversion devices and showed the agent how to insert a conversion device into an AR-style firearm. On the second occasion, he showed the undercover agent the 3D printers and printed the switches while he waited. Mr. Watson acknowledged that he knew some of his buyers were selling the switches and said that he had previously mailed devices to recipients by concealing them inside a children’s toy.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

If convicted, Mr. Watson faces up to a decade in federal prison.

Mr. Corral pleaded guilty on June 22 to unlawful possession of machine guns and was sentenced on Oct. 7 to 57 months in federal prison. Mr. Jones pleaded guilty to the same charge on Aug. 24 and is set to be sentenced on Dec. 13. Mr. Wali pleaded guilty on Nov. 16 and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 18, 2023.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Fort Worth Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Gatto is prosecuting the case

Dallas Field Division


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 www.atf.gov.

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

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Stag

I see the government thugs are bragging about armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and violation of rights again.

CourageousLion

I’m sure that if the founding fathers were still alive today they would be making every effort possible to make sure that ALL MILITIA members were armed so that they were EQUAL to the military or police because frankly…THEY DIDN’T TRUST THEM. So why should we? If we had the MILITIAS back in force and effect most of the crap going on wouldn’t be. I feel more threatened by the ATF, IRS, FBI, FDA, FCC, FAA, TSA, NSA, CIA and many other unnamed gooberment agencies than I do of “glock switches” or “auto sears”. “He has erected a multitude of… Read more »

StLPro2A

This is the government our Founders warned about….and, for which they penned the Second Amendment.

Tank

Of course the founding fathers knew the Mason’s were up to no good. Twistory repeats.

The mind is not prepared the comprehend what it does not understand.

warfinge

I would love to see the stats on crimes committed with 3d printed firearms or 3D printed firearm parts other than the creation of the parts.

Country Boy

Me too, but we’ll never be allowed to see it.

J.galt

F every atf agent and their extended families.

J.galt

Only an anti American POS would work for an unconstitutional agency like atf.

The agency should be disbanded and the employees should be disgorged of every penny they “earned” violating the rights of fellow citizens. They should be put in stocks and pilloried.

Their families should derive NO BENEFIT of being citizens of a “free” country. F every one of them.

gsteele

“. . . and have been increasingly used in violent gun crime . . .” This sounds too much like an off-handed blather meant to sell the idea that these things are an epidemic. If this is true, then providing the actual statistics that show the increase in their use in violent crime should be easy to do; where’s the data? If it’s so, then there’s a good case that they represent a target for enforcement; if not, it’s just another in a long series of encroachments on Second Amendment freedoms.  No one wants a free-for-all running gun battle in… Read more »

GomeznSA

gsteele – as warfinge said in his post – how many of the “thousands” of these devices have actually been used in ANY crime. If it was as drastic of a problem as the bats are insinuating, they would have listed that number.

NOTE – I am not advocating breaking any of the 20,000+ ‘gun control’ laws currently in existence by any means. If ya do, sooner or later you just might get caught regardless of how inept the bats tend to be…………….

PistolGrip44

#FtheATF

Tionico

A pistol equipped with a conversion device can fire up to 1200 rounds per minute and my car can travel at up to120 miles per hour.Does that mean I should be arrested and charged when I am driving it at 60 mph, the posted speed limit? So the pitential is 1200 rpm. How many rounds in a standard mag? Fifteen? Thus one mag dump will take a bit under a minute. How many of those will be aimed fire, with the muzzle dancing the polka? How long to reload? And will the supposed perp be able to carry and change… Read more »

DIYinSTL

But the glock switch does NOT allow the handgun to “fire up to 1200 rounds per minute.” It may allow the glock to fire at a RATE of up to 1200 rpm. A typical wordsmithing lie to make a firearm sound far more dangerous than it is. Politicians and officials need to be called out every time they utter a falsehood like this.

J.galt

IF YOU WEAR THE UNIFORM OF THE NAZI’s, YOU’RE A NAZI.

THERE ARE NO “GOOD” NAZIS.

PMinFl

Is this the reason for the limited availability and high prices of ammunition? I guess that gang bangers have unlimited finances to buy copious quantities of ammo. I know I’m limited in my purchases. Is the ATF working against the public?

Last edited 2 months ago by PMinFl
J.galt

Of course they are working against the public. Working against the public is their mission. Duh!

Tionico

Do ATF agents breathe?
You just answered your question.

Finnky

Given that US ammo manufacturing and imports total roughly a billion a year – having several billion rounds hoovered up by fed means prices have only begun to climb.

I suspect you misheard on the billions of rounds and that it is for multi-decade contract with deliveries spread over that time.