116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DAVENPORT — A Solon man who was converting “fuel filters” into illegal silencers for firearms was sentenced last week to 30 months in federal prison.
In a hearing in federal court, U.S. District Judge John Jarvey also ordered Christopher Allan Hay, 49, to serve three years of supervised release after prison.
Hay pleaded guilty in April to being a drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition, and possession of unregistered firearms.
According to court documents, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in San Francisco and Chicago located suspicious packages sent from China and addressed to Hay.
The packages contained 14 “fuel filters,” which have no filtering capability and are easily converted into firearms silencers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives considers the filters to be silencers under the National Firearms Act, court documents stated.
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Hay’s residence, where they found 37 firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and four filters/silencers, one of which was attached to a firearm. They also found 813 grams — almost 2 pounds — of marijuana.
Two of Hay’s firearms were determined to be fully automatic machine guns, which Hay admitted he illegally converted, court documents stated. Hay also admitted buying the fuel filters with the intent to use them as silencers, knowing it was illegal to possess them without the proper paperwork and approval.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Customs and Border Patrol investigated the case.
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