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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Convicted Felon Arrested for Smuggling Machine Gun Conversion Devices Into US; Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, Silencer

Convicted Felon Arrested for Smuggling Machine Gun Conversion Devices Into US; Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, Silencer

Release Date: June 7, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. — A joint investigation has led to an arrest following a criminal complaint charging a Florida man with smuggling machine gun conversion devices into the United States, possession of firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon, and possession of unregistered machine guns and a silencer.

Phillip Michael Valeriani, 41, of Plant City, faces up to 20 years in federal prison for smuggling machine gun conversion devices, up to 15 years for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, and up to 10 years of imprisonment for possession of an unregistered machine gun and silencer.

According to the complaint, in April 2024, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a suspicious package shipped from Shenzhen, China, destined for a residence in Plant City. The package contained 63 machine gun conversion devices, commonly referred to as “Glock switches.” A Glock switch is an illegal conversion device that converts a semiautomatic pistol into a fully automatic weapon. Under the National Firearms Act, a Glock switch is classified as a machine gun.

After confirming Valeriani was the intended recipient of the package containing the 63 Glock switch parts, law enforcement officials conducted a search warrant at his residence. During the search, law enforcement seized firearms, including a pistol with a foldable stock and Glock switch, ammunition, a silencer, narcotics, a tactical vest with ballistic plates, and FBI and DEA raid jackets.

A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Plant City Police Department; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Tampa International Airport Police Department. U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Haynes.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Last Updated: 06/07/2024
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