Saratoga County Man Admits Machine Gun Possession and Possessing Handguns in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Justin W. May, age 36, of Edinburg, New York, pled guilty today to possessing a machine gun, possessing handguns in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and manufacturing marijuana.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), New York Field Office; and New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II.
On April 12, 2016, the New York State Police responded to a call for shots fired on Fox Hill Road in Edinburg. Upon arrival, one individual was immediately taken into custody, but the second shooter, later identified as May, was not visible. In response, State Police members looked around May’s property and observed a marijuana grow operation, along with an AR-15-type weapon.
May later returned home and was taken into custody. He possessed two handguns in his vehicle. The State Police executed a search warrant on the property and found marijuana plants in various stages of growth, approximately 6 pounds of processed marijuana, two semi-automatic rifles, and other firearms.
Further ATF examination of one of the rifles, an AR-15 type, .300 Blackout caliber rifle, concluded that the hammer had been modified to allow the firearm to fire automatically, as a machine gun. May admitted that he knew the Blackout rifle, as modified, was a machine gun, and that he possessed two handguns to protect his marijuana grow operation and drug money.
May faces at least 5 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 2 years when sentenced by United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino on March 25, 2019. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
This case was investigated by the ATF and the New York State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Collyer.
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