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Sarcoxie man pleads guilty to illegally having firearms, machine gun

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A Sarcoxie, Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally possessing firearms, including a machine gun.

Leng Lee, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Monday, Aug. 26, to one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and to one count of illegally possessing a machine gun.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers participated in the controlled delivery of an international mail package from China addressed to Lee at his residence on April 23, 2019. The parcel contained seven parts (selector switches) that are used to convert a Glock semi-automatic pistol to fire in full-automatic mode. Lee is a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms and is not licensed to possess a machine gun.

Officers executed a search warrant at Lee's residence and found numerous firearms, more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition, firearm suppressors, methamphetamine, and marijuana. A total of 18 firearms were seized from Lee by law enforcement officers. Lee told officers that a couple of the firearms were given to him by his deceased father, but the others were purchased by him at gun shows or during hand-to-hand transactions. None of the firearms were purchased from a licensed firearms dealer. 

Lee admitted to placing the order for the selector switches and told officers that he had 10-15 past deliveries of the selector switches. Lee said he was able to convert and successfully fire a Glock pistol as a fully automatic firearm.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Lee has two prior felony convictions for burglary, and prior felony convictions for vandalism, criminal conspiracy, grand theft, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Under the terms of today's plea agreement, the government will not seek a sentence higher than 10 years in federal prison without parole. The sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Newton, Mo., Sheriff's Department.

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