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Weld county man pleads guilty to smuggling gun parts out of the country

The U.S. Attorney and Homeland Security announced that Michael John Suppes, 46, was an unlicensed firearms dealer manufacturing and shipping guns to other countries.

DENVER — A Weld County man pleaded guilty earlier this week to smuggling gun parts to buyers in other countries and possessing unregistered firearms as an unlicensed firearms dealer or manufacturer, U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced Wednesday. 

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Michael John Suppes' plea agreement says he did not have an export license and he possessed unregistered short-barreled rifles that were not registered under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record as required by law, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

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The release says Suppes shipped over 1,200 domestic and international packages through his business, MJS Performance LLC., between Jan. 25, 2015 and Nov. 5, 2018, selling firearm parts and motorcycle muffler parts. 

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said they spotted Suppes' illegal activities after learning that packages containing concealed gun parts were being shipped to other countries, including Saudi Arabia, India and Cambodia. HSI said the gun parts required an export license, which Suppes did not have.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said investigators also learned that Suppes communicated with people who said they wanted to smuggle firearms into Mexico between December 2018 and April 2019. 

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The agreement says in April 2019, Suppes agreed to sell one of the individuals 30 AR-15 rifles and 20 AK-47 rifles, along with magazines and ammunition. 

Suppes was arrested on his way to meet with that person, the release says. At the time, prosecutors said he had the 50 rifles, as well as magazines and ammunition with him. 

Most of the firearms were short-barreled rifles, according to the release. 

As part of the plea agreement. the U.S. Attorney's Office said Suppes agreed to forfeit nearly $300,000 in assets and 123 firearms, firearm parts and ammunition.  a substantial forfeiture of assets that totaled nearly $300,000 and forfeit 123 firearms, plus firearm parts and ammunition. 

Suppes faces 10 years in federal prison, followed by up to three years on supervised release, along with a $250,000 fine, the release says. 

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