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California man gets 5 years for trafficking ‘ghost’ guns

Posted at 2:04 PM, Sep 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-23 14:08:51-04

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (AP) – A Northern California man has been sentenced to five years in prison for the unlawful manufacturing and dealing of so-called “ghost” guns – homemade weapons with no registration numbers that can be used to trace them.

The Sacramento Bee reports Michael Paul Grisham Smith of Grass Valley was arrested earlier this year. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the 44-year-old was sentenced Friday.

Federal prosecutors say Smith contacted a firearms vendor on the darknet, a part of the internet accessible only through anonymity-providing tools. The vendor turned out to be an undercover law enforcement agent working for Homeland Security.

Prosecutors say Smith manufactured and sold eight AR-15-style firearms without serial numbers to the undercover agent in exchange for payment in bitcoin.