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Firearms Trafficker Pleads Guilty to 27 Counts Related to Unlicensed Firearms Sales and Possession of Illegal Weapons 

February 10, 2024 - SACRAMENTO, CA — Joshua Markanson, 32, of Victorville, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to unlawfully US DOJmanufacture and deal firearms, unlawfully manufacturing and dealing in firearms, engaging in the business of manufacturing and dealing firearms without registering and paying taxes, possession of unregistered firearms, and possession of unserialized firearms, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between Nov. 13, 2017, and Dec. 14, 2017, Markanson entered into a conspiracy to manufacture and sell firearms outside of lawful channels. An undercover agent and a confidential informant working for law enforcement purchased over 30 guns from the conspirators during the course of six undercover transactions. This included six unserialized short-barrel rifles and six unserialized silencers.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the Sacramento Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Lee and Cameron Desmond are prosecuting the case.

Co-defendant Donte Robins was convicted of conspiracy to unlawfully deal firearms without a license and was sentenced to nine months in prison. Co-defendant Rayshawn Wray was convicted of conspiracy to unlawfully deal firearms without a license and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Markanson is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on May 2, 2024. Markanson faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the counts of conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture and deal firearms and the unlawful dealing and manufacturing firearms count. He faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the counts of possession of an unregistered firearm and the count of possession of an unserialized firearm. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Source: DOJ Release