According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California, a grand jury recently returned a nine-count indictment charging 44-year-old Michael Paul Grisham Smith with illegal dealing and manufacturing in firearms and unlawful possession of unregistered firearms. U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced the indictment on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
Court documents revealed that Smith contacted a darknet firearms vendor to propose a deal. Smith wanted to sell AR-15-style guns without serial numbers. The vendor and Smith reached an agreement. Starting on the first of December, the 44-year-old crafted eight “AR-15-style” rifles. He sold the rifles to the vendor in exchange for bitcoin. Like many weapons vendors on the darknet, Smith’s ‘AR-15 vendor’ actually worked for law enforcement. The vendor was an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent.