SACRAMENTO, CA- A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against James Christopher Malcolm, 29, of Carmichael, charging him with transfer of explosive materials for use in a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime; unlawful dealing in firearms; and two counts of possession of machine guns, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Malcolm met with a confidential informant to discuss a plan to sell fully automatic rifles. At the meeting, Malcolm told the informant that distributing firearms was only a side business, and his main business was distributing explosives and poison. Later, Malcolm sold four short-barrel AR-15-style machine guns, 1.5 pounds of improvised explosive material, three blasting caps, and a firearm silencer to undercover agents posing as arms dealers for drug trafficking organizations. Additionally, Malcolm told undercover law enforcement agents that he could manufacture parts to convert Glock pistols into fully automatic machine guns. Malcolm actually demonstrated the process of converting pistols to machine guns and over the course of various meetings sold the agents parts to convert 10 pistols.
“Trafficking in explosives and machine guns poses a real threat to public safety,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Fortunately, federal law enforcement agencies acted swiftly in neutralizing the threat in this case.”
“Firearms trafficking is the mechanism in which criminals obtain their firearms used in violent crimes,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl. “ATF will continue to focus our efforts on criminals who are unlawfully manufacturing and selling machine guns and explosive materials.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lee is prosecuting the case.
Malcolm is currently in custody at the Sacramento County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 12, 2014.
If convicted of the first count, Malcolm faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine to be run consecutive to any other sentence. The maximum sentence count two is five years in prison a $250,000 fine, and for counts three and four the maximum sentence is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.