Seattle – A 22-year-old member of a violent street gang was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for possession of a machinegun, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. JAYVON GRAYSON was on probation for an armed robbery when he used straw-buyers to obtain various firearms, one of which was converted from semi-automatic to automatic. GRAYSON made a video of himself shooting this machinegun from a moving car. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart referenced the video at the sentencing hearing saying it indicates GRAYSON “was an immediate and serious threat to the community and himself.”
“This case demonstrates how illegally purchased firearms circulate in the criminal community and pose a danger to anyone who is in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “To fire an automatic weapon, loaded with an extended capacity magazine, from a moving vehicle, puts countless people at risk. Stopping the circulation of these firearms in the criminal community is a top priority of the Department of Justice.”
According to the records filed in the case, during 2018, GRAYSON and a friend had the friend’s mother purchase firearms for them from a licensed gun store. The woman falsely claimed she was the person who would purchase and possess the firearms. Instead, she turned the firearms over to her son who shared or sold various firearms with gang associates, including GRAYSON. A second straw-purchaser also provided a firearm to GRAYSON. On social media GRAYSON posted numerous videos of his use and possession of firearms, including the machinegun. GRAYSON posted these images and videos on social media even as he was under state supervision for an armed robbery conviction.
At the sentencing hearing GRAYSON told Judge Robart, “I was reckless…. I was dangerous… Please give me a second chance.” Judge Robart noted that GRAYSON needs to forge a new path, saying, “I don’t know how you get much worse than possessing a machine gun.” The judge imposed a three-year term of supervised release to follow prison and noted that if GRAYSON returned to gang and gun life, the prison sanctions will increase significantly.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence and enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes. Project Guardian ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. More information about Project Guardian is here.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the Division of Alaska State Troopers (AST) and the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO).
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Manca.