ATF: Man Manufactured Over 200 “Ghost Guns”

Rich Pedroncelli / AP file

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell sentenced Hector Luis Santiago-Jorge (48, Kissimmee) to the maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a federal license. The court also ordered that Santiago-Jorge forfeit 10 AR-15 type firearms and 168 rounds of ammunition that were seized from his residence by federal law enforcement officers.

Santiago-Jorge had pleaded guilty on March 5, 2018.

According to court documents, between November 2016 and October 2017, Santiago-Jorge manufactured more than 200 firearms, most of which were AR-15 type weapons. He then sold many of these firearms to purchasers in Puerto Rico. The firearms manufactured by Santiago-Jorge, none of which had a serial number, are commonly known as “ghost guns” because they are difficult for law enforcement to trace.

“This criminal thought he could circumvent the laws in place that make our communities safer from weapons trafficking,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “But thanks to the hard work of HSI and our partners, this sentencing should put criminals on notice that we will fully investigate anyone threatening the safety of our citizens.”

“It is ATF’s primary responsibility to aggressively interdict unlicensed manufacturers and the firearms they illegally peddle,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary. “As subject matter experts, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep illegal firearms out of our communities.”