A Billings man accused of converting a rifle to a machine gun and selling it admitted to a federal firearms charge on Thursday.
David Allen Darsow, 48, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a machine gun as charged in an indictment. A plea agreement calls for Darsow to pay a $7,500 fine. He also faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
“I had a machine gun and sold it to a sneaky ATF agent,” Darsow told U.S. District Judge Susan Watters during his hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lahr said evidence would show that in June 2013, Darsow contacted a confidential informant and that the two discussed the possible sale of a fully automatic firearm.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives monitored a June 25, 2013, meeting between Darsow and the informant in which Darsow showed the informant a modified AK-style rifle and gave him a list of all the modifications that had been made to convert it into a machine gun, Lahr said.
Darsow took apart the weapon, explained each part and then demonstrated the gun’s ability to fire more than one round of ammunition with a single pull of the trigger, the prosecutor said.
The next day, ATF agents conducted a controlled buy in which the informant paid Darsow $7,500 for the machine gun, a Norinco, Model MAK-90 Sporter, 7.62x39 caliber rifle.
ATF agents verified the firearm could be fired as a fully automatic machine gun and a records check turned up no registration for the gun or records for Darsow, Lahr said. Darsow also admitted to the weapon’s conversion and sale.
Watters set sentencing for Nov. 19 and continued Darsow’s release on conditions.