Holyoke man charged for illegal possession of machine guns

  • More than 100 firearms, including what police said were more than 40 machiune guns, from the home of Daniel A. Augusto in February. HOLYOKE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 8/5/2022 7:11:20 PM
Modified: 8/5/2022 7:09:26 PM

HOLYOKE — A Holyoke man who authorities say illegally possessed more than 40 machine guns and other unregistered firearms was arrested Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office following a federal grand jury indictment in Springfield.

Daniel A. Augusto, 56, was indicted on one count of unlawful possession of machine guns, six counts of unlawful possession of unregistered firearms, and one count of making false statements to federal agents, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He was to appear in federal court in Springfield Friday afternoon.

Augusto’s cache of more than 100 firearms was seized by Holyoke police on Feb. 23 following a search warrant at 5 Robert Drive conducted with assistance from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Augusto allegedly had more than 40 machine guns and conversion devices, short-barreled rifles, other weapons, and firearm silencers.

U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a statement that guns are deadly weapons with strict requirements for licensing and registering.

“We believe Mr. Augusto not only unlawfully possessed numerous unregistered firearms, but also possessed a stockpile of machine guns and conversion devices that have the capability to rapidly cause death and destruction,” Rollins said. “The illegal possession of firearms and, moreover, machine guns, greatly threaten the safety of our communities.”

According to the indictment, Augusto allegedly possessed various weapons, including:

--One PTR Industries Inc. model PTR 9, 9 x 19 mm caliber firearm bearing serial number 9MC010480 with one magazine and an altered HK MP5-type machine gun trigger housing installed.

--38 “switch-type” Glock machine gun conversion devices bearing a counterfeit Glock logo.

--Three Rare Breed FRT-15 forced reset triggers designed to allow drop-in installation into AR-15 type firearms, with no serial number.

--One Tommy Triggers FRT-15-3MD forced reset trigger designed to allow drop-in installation into AR-15-type firearms, with no serial number.

--One Imperial Arms Co. model EFFEN 90, 5.7 x 28 mm caliber firearm bearing serial number HXX37 with one magazine;

--One PTR Industries Inc. model PTR 9, 9 x 19 mm caliber firearm bearing serial number 9MK001951 with a collapsible shoulder stock, thread protector, electronic sight, and forward grip, and with one magazine.

--One Sig Sauer, model MPX, 9 x19 mm caliber firearm bearing serial number 62B058947 with an electronic sight, a forward grip, and a Maxim Defense collapsible shoulder stock, and with one magazine.

--One Intratec,model Tec-9, 9 x 19mm caliber firearm bearing serial number 54601, with a secondary forward grip and a synthetic sling.

--Two black firearms silencers with no markings.

“The unlawful possession of unregistered machine guns is a federal crime that ATF takes very seriously as it threatens the safety of our communities,” James M. Ferguson, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Boston Field Division, said in a statement.

Augusto also is alleged to have falsely stated to federal agents that all of the firearms in his residence belonged to his son and his girlfriend, and that he never asked his son or his girlfriend to purchase firearms. 

The charge of unlawful possession of machine guns provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charges of unlawful possession of unregistered firearms each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and forfeiture of the illegally possessed firearms.

The charge of making false statements to federal agents provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

Any sentences would be imposed by a federal district court judge based upon U.S. sentencing guidelines and statutes that govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Rollins’ Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case. 

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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