St. Pete Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Machine Gun

August 23, 2020

By: Staff Report

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. – Max Chambers, 21, from St. Petersburg, and a former University of Central Florida student, pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of a machine gun. He faces a maximum penalty of 10-years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, on January 28, 2019, the University of Central Florida (UCF) Police Department received an anonymous crime line tip claiming that Chambers was in possession of three drop-in auto-sears (DIAS) – a device used to cause a semi-automatic firearm to fire fully automatic – on university grounds.

Drop-In Auto-Sears (DIAS)

After making contact with Chambers, law enforcement located a completed DIAS in his dorm room. A second DIAS and an AR-15 style rifle that Chambers had converted to fire fully automatic were found in Chambers’s vehicle, which was parked on UCF property. During interviews with law enforcement, Chambers admitted to making the DIAS, and altering the AR-15 with the goal of making it fire fully automatic.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the University of Central Florida Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Daniels.

This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

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