Investigators: Green Bay man 3D-printed homemade guns to trade for meth
FIRST ALERT EXCLUSIVE
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Brown County investigators arrest a man they say was manufacturing homemade guns in the basement of a Green Bay home using a 3D printer and parts purchased online.
A convicted felon, unable to even possess firearms, is now charged in connection to it.
It started with an investigation into a drug trafficking organization, authorities say, but led to much more, prompting federal authorities to now get involved.
An ounce of meth for a homemade pistol -- that was the trade prosecutors allege 28-year old Mitchell Guerrero agreed to in order to receive methamphetamine.
That homemade pistol, investigators say, was manufactured in what they describe as a ‘gun workshop in the basement’ of a home on the 800 block of Bader Street in Green Bay.
The Brown County Drug Task Force took pictures Monday when agents executed a search warrant at the home where Guerrero lived with his mother.
The pictures show what prosecutors are calling ‘ghost guns,’ manufactured using a 3D printer and parts that can be bought online.
One pictures shows the name ‘Ghost Inc’ clearly marked on a piece of the firearm.
Court records indicate that’s a ‘company where (someone) can purchase self-defense trigger connectors and accessories for Glock pistols.’
“Your honor, this is a very serious case. It’s the first ghost gun case that we’ve seen in our area,” Brown County Deputy District Attorney Wendy Lemkuil told a court commissioner during Guerrero’s initial appearance.
Lemkuil went on to tell the commissioner she had to consult the U.S. Attorney’s Office to learn more about ghost guns because they’re so rare and unique.
“Essentially, they’re firearms cases where guns are being illegally produced and they’re not tracked or registered in any way and as dangerous as any other firearm that could be out there on the streets, especially when getting in the hands of convicted felons illegally,” she said.
Guerrero is a convicted felon, according to online court records, making it illegal for him to even possess a firearm.
His prior court records, Lemkuil said, are linked to drug convictions dating back just over a decade.
In this case, investigators were keyed in on Guerrero again because of drugs, they say, after telling prosecutors they’d received tips ‘concerning a drug trafficking organization’ beginning in March of 2021.
The criminal complaint states a man told investigators he’d sold an ounce of meth three separate times to Guerrero, and on the final time, did it in exchange for one of the guns he said Guerrero ‘builds and assembles in the basement,’ adding Guerrero had ‘shown the man blue prints of guns he has made,’ explaining ‘he has made at least 4 ghost guns.’
According to the criminal complaint, the man ‘asked Guerrero if the guns function.’ The man told investigators Guerrero told him they did and ‘that he has tested (one) on someone that said to shoot them so he shot the person.’
Across the country, attorneys general, including Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul, have asked for regulation and changes to federal law to make it harder to people to assemble homemade guns that fire actual bullets.
“They are still firearms that can do the same damage and are as lethal as a regular firearm,” Lemkuil told the commissioner.
Court records show, along with meth, marijuana and ecstasy, they also recovered some cash, a stolen shotgun and more than 2,700 rounds of ammunition in that Bader Street home.
“He does have ties to the community. He resides in Green Bay. He lives with his mother. He is a stay at home dad to a five-month old child and also has an 11-year old child,” defense attorney Imani Hollie said during Guerrero’s hearing.
Despite that argument, a court commissioner ordered Guerrero be held on $50,000 cash bond.
Prosecutors say the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is now investigating, and more reports are expected to be filed.
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