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November 20, 2017

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New Year’s Eve celebration with machine gun fire earns federal prison term for Henderson man

A Henderson man was sentenced Wednesday to 366 days in federal prison for firing a machine gun in the backyard of his Anthem neighborhood home on New Year’s Eve 2010.

John Mackey, 38, who pleaded guilty in May to one count of possession of a machine gun, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson.

“Shooting a firearm, especially a machine gun in the backyard of a residential neighborhood, is very dangerous and could have easily harmed someone,” said Daniel Bogden, U.S. attorney in Nevada. “We take these crimes seriously and will prosecute persons who violate federal laws that prohibit the unlawful possession of these types of weapons.”

According to prosecutors, about 12:06 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2011, the Henderson Police Department received a report that someone had fired an automatic weapon in the backyard of a home in the Anthem neighborhood. When police arrived, Mackey told them he shot a machine gun into the ground and was “not stupid enough to shoot it in the air.” Mackey also told police there were numerous firearms in the house, in addition to the unregistered machine gun in the garage.

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a machine gun that is not registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Officers recovered an Armory USA 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle, which had been converted into a fully-automatic machine gun, prosecutors said.

“ATF aggressively investigates the illegal possession of firearms especially machine guns,” said Joseph M. Riehl, AFT special agent in charge. “Criminal possession and misuse of firearms endangers our communities and will not be tolerated.”

Dawson ordered Mackey into immediate custody.

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