Twin Cities Men Arrested for Operating Machinegun Distribution Ring on Snapchat

Twin Cities Men Arrested for Operating Machinegun Distribution Ring on Snapchat

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Three Twin Cities men have been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of machine guns after they were found to be operating a machinegun distribution ring through the social media platform Snapchat. The suspects, identified as Rafael Carter Wesley, Kyrees Darious Johnson, and Avont Akira Drayton, were arrested following an investigation authorities.

The investigation began in March 2023, when authorities started looking into a Snapchat group called “BLICCS&STICCS3” that they suspected was involved in the trafficking of machineguns, firearms, and drugs in the Twin Cities metro area. Screenshots and videos from the group showed individuals selling devices that could convert pistols and rifles into fully automatic machine guns.

It is important to note that guns with machinegun conversion devices (MCD) are categorized as machineguns and are regulated under the National Firearms Act. The undercover investigation resulted in multiple controlled buys from members of the BLICCS&STICCS3 group, including Wesley, Johnson, and Drayton.

One specific incident involved an undercover officer offering to trade a prop firearm for a Glock switch, which can turn a handgun into a machine gun. Wesley, one of the suspects, agreed to the trade and later sold three switches to the undercover officer for $1,000 in St. Cloud.

Further controlled buys took place in Eagan, St. Paul, and Minneapolis, resulting in the arrests of the three suspects. Johnson, who has prior felony convictions, is prohibited federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition. Wesley and Drayton are also bound court-imposed restrictions that prohibit them from possessing firearms.

The three suspects made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court last week. The investigation serves as a reminder of the growing prevalence of illegal firearms sales on social media platforms and the importance of law enforcement agencies monitoring these channels to ensure public safety.

– U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota
– National Firearms Act (NFA)
– Patch