ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Sauk Rapids man has pleaded guilty to willfully manufacturing firearms without a license, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, between the fall of 2021 through April 2022, Jay James Olson, 21, willfully engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms for profit, despite the fact that he is not and has never been a federally licensed manufacturer of firearms. In the spring of 2022, Olson offered to sell unserialized firearms, commonly referred to as “ghost guns,” and various firearms-related accessories, including a silencer, an auto sear, and high-capacity magazines, to an individual for $20,000. Unbeknownst to Olson, the individual was working with law enforcement as a confidential source. During their conversations, Olson told the confidential source that the price for each firearm would be going up because of the federal government’s recent initiative targeting ghost guns.
On April 26, 2022, at a residence in Waite Park, Olson sold the confidential source 16 ghost guns, nine high-capacity magazines, one firearms silencer, an auto-sear, and other firearms accessories. Immediately after the transaction, law enforcement arrested Olson and executed a search warrant at the residence. During the search, investigators recovered firearm assembly kits, unserialized lower receivers, and multiple miscellaneous firearms parts and accessories. On May 4, 2022, investigators executed a search warrant at Olson’s Sauk Rapids residence, and recovered from the basement manufacturing tools, various firearm assembly kits, and a Glock firearm assembly diagram.
Olson pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Eric C. Tostrud to one count of willfully engaging in the business of manufacturing firearms without a license. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Hennepin County Violent Offender Task Force, and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Bejar is prosecuting the case.