The Gist: Two Clayton County men, Anthony Maseda and Erik Arreola-Torres, have been sentenced to prison after converting semi-automatic firearms into machine guns and selling them out of a local residence.
The operation came to a head when Arreola-Torres fired a machine gun at federal agents and local law enforcement during the execution of a search warrant.
What Happened?: According to federal prosecutors, over a three-month period in early 2022, Maseda, a previously convicted felon, and Arreola-Torres operated a firearm and machine gun trafficking scheme from a home in Jonesboro. Maseda imported illegal “switches” from China to convert firearms into fully automatic machineguns, which were then advertised and sold through a public Instagram account.
During the execution of a search warrant on March 3, 2022, prosecutors say Arreola-Torres opened fire on special agents and police officers from within the home. Despite firing dozens of rounds, no one was injured.
Maseda and Arreola-Torres were subsequently arrested, with law enforcement discovering a cache of firearms and drug paraphernalia within the residence.
By The Numbers:
- 6 fully automatic machineguns found in the residence
- 4 additional switches for converting semi-automatics into machine guns
- 5 other firearms discovered
- Plus, a significant amount of ammunition, firearm parts, bulletproof body armor, marijuana and digital scales
What’s Next?: Maseda and Arreola-Torres have been sentenced to nine and ten years respectively, followed by three years of supervised release.
Gun Crimes: In the ongoing narrative of America’s complex relationship with firearms, statistics tell a tale that’s difficult to ignore. The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit meticulously tracking gun incidents, lays it out in black and white. Here’s how it stacks up:
- 2020 Statistics
- Total gun-related incidents: 43,551
- Gun-related deaths: 19,379
- Gun-related injuries: 39,707
- Mass shootings: 612
- 2019 Statistics
- Total gun-related incidents: 39,707
- Gun-related deaths: 15,208
- Gun-related injuries: 29,613
- Mass shootings: 417
To Be Clear: These aren’t just digits on a page. Each statistic represents a life affected, a community shaken. And what’s more, these numbers tell us that the situation isn’t improving.