DENVER – “Ghost guns” and “kit guns” continue to make national headlines after the California school shooting in which one was used to kill two students last week. On Friday, Colorado’s U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn announced 47-year-old Andres Luna, of Denver, was sentenced to 188 months (just under 16 years) in federal prison for possession of a machine gun as well as distribution and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
Prosecutors say Andres Luna bragged about his criminal lifestyle and told under cover ATF agents he could get them cocaine and meth. He also said he could obtain guns that were untraceable.
His codefendant, Jose Eduardo Trujillo, was previously sentenced to serve 87 months in federal prison for similar conduct.
The investigation revealed that Trujillo was making the guns. Luna and Trujillo repeatedly sold such firearms to the undercover agents, even after the agents told the men that firearms were being provided to Sinaloa cartel members.
Luna and Trujillo also sold fully automatic firearms and tools that make semi-automatic rifles convert into automatic weapons. In total, Luna sold 45 guns to undercover ATF agents.
Dunn told FOX31’s Deborah Takahara the case was significant.
“The agents were told the weapons were headed for Mexico to the Sinaloa drug cartel down there. The defendants thought they were headed for drug cartels in Mexico. Obviously, if they had not been purchased by undercover agents, they just as easily could’ve been sold to gangs in the Denver metro area and wound up on the streets and used in a lot of violent crimes. So it’s significant impact in terms of public safety for the citizens of Denver,” Dunn said.
Dunn said despite this bust, he would not necessarily say so-called “ghost guns” are a significant problem relative to guns in general.
“It is a significant issue when someone is able to manufacture machine guns, manufacture silencers that are obviously unregistered and manufactured purely for the purpose of illegal activity. It’s a problem we take very seriously. These are very serious guns — high caliber, fully automatic. They can do significant damage and that’s what they’re intended for. My understanding is all the parts are bought separately, then assembled and they use illegal final parts that make them automatic,” he said.
Dunn said that according to the ATF, Luna and Trujillo were good at what they were doing.
“These were actually high-quality productions and it was clear this was not their first customers — that they were manufacturing these as a business and selling in large quantities,” Dunn said.
He said the sentence should send a message to others who may be thinking of manufacturing illegal weapons.
“Mr. Luna is going to serve nearly 16 years in a federal prison, so anyone who thinks this is a good business model should probably think otherwise,” Dunn said.
Luna’s mother said she had no idea of his crimes.
“It broke my heart. But he loved guns since he was a little boy. He’d take them apart and redo them,” she said.