NEWARK, N.J. – A Brooklyn man with prior felony convictions today admitted illegally possessing a machinegun, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Christian Cordero-Gotay, 29, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of possession of a machinegun, one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of a machinegun not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Aug. 31, 2020, officers of the Clinton Township Police Department conducted a motor vehicle stop of a vehicle occupied by Cordero-Gotay and Genesis Bertefabian. Upon approach, the officers detected an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. Pursuant to a search of the vehicle, an officer observed a loaded Glock magazine under the driver’s seat. The officers attempted to place Cordero-Gotay and Bertefabian under arrest, but Cordero-Gotay resisted arrest and Bertefabian got in the vehicle and drove away.
A few minutes later, Bertefabian crashed into the side of a building. Bertefabian then exited the vehicle and walked into a wooded area behind the building. Law enforcement officers conducted a search of the wooded areaand found a 9 mm Glock-type semiautomatic firearm. Law enforcement officials determined that the firearm was fitted with a Glock conversion device commonly referred to as a “Glock Switch,” which has the effect of converting a semiautomatic Glock pistol into a machinegun. After obtaining a search warrant for the vehicle, law enforcement recovered two high-capacity magazines loaded with 9mm ammunition.
Each of the three charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 23, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Toby C. Taylor, and the Clinton Township Police Department, under the direction of Lieutenant Thomas DeRosa, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey E. Zyriek Enriquez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges against Bertefabian remain pending, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.