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Dallas Man Sold "Glock Switches" to Police Over Instagram, says U.S. Attorney

More "Glock switches" are being sold over apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
More "Glock switches" are being sold over apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Illustration by 355
A Dallas man was charged on Wednesday for selling Glock “switches,” devices that convert semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic ones, to undercover officers. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, Jeremiah Dwyen Ashley, 22, allegedly conducted sales of illegal firearms both in-person and online.

“He allegedly admitted that he was known around the neighborhood for selling switches on Instagram,” the release notes. Ashley was indicted on two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm.

Glock switches, also known as “auto sears,” are small pieces of metal, smaller than a quarter, that can turn a semiautomatic handgun into one that functions as a machine gun able to fire multiple bullets with one pull of the trigger. Because of their miniature size, the conversion devices don’t alter the appearance of the gun much, and they can take less than 90 seconds to install.

“Switches transform regular pistols into weapons of war, only suitable for use by soldiers on the battlefield,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton in the release. “We cannot and will not allow switches to proliferate on the streets of north Texas.”

Law enforcement was first alerted to Ashley via an Instagram ad for the switches. An undercover meeting was arranged for May 24 at a Garland gas station where Ashley allegedly showed the undercover officer how to install a switch on a pistol after the officer purchased three for $1,200.

Following the initial meeting, undercover officers continued to communicate with Ashley, purchasing and arranging the delivery of more Glock switches through UPS. Ashley allegedly provided package tracking information for three different shipments of switches from Taiwan to the officers via Instagram.

“He [Jeremiah Dwyen Ashley] allegedly admitted that he was known around the neighborhood for selling switches on Instagram.” - U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton

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The packages were seized upon arrival with the switches surrounded by metal screws, a move the statement says is designed to “obscure the packages’ contents.” The undercover officers delivered the packages to Ashley’s apartment on June 14, where a search warrant was executed after he acknowledged the shipments were intended for him.

This comes after a Fort Worth man, Xavier Desean Watson, was charged in November 2022 for allegedly manufacturing and selling thousands of Glock switches with the use of a 3D printer, along with his alleged co-conspirators, brothers José Bermudez and Victor Bermudez. Watson was the fourth seller of conversion devices indicted in Fort Worth last year.

In March 2022 another Dallas man, Martin Avina, was sentenced to four years in federal prison after he sold four Glock switches to undercover agents in 2021 through Snapchat. In September 2021, Houston police officer William Jeffrey was killed by a man using a gun with an illegal switch during an attempted arrest.

A 2022 Vice investigation reports that the sale and use of auto sears have risen dramatically, noting that more than 1,000 were recovered by law enforcement between 2017 and 2022. “In recent years, these small metal or plastic devices have exploded in popularity on the black market and gained a particular cachet among criminals and anti-government extremists,” the Vice report states.

If convicted, Ashley faces up to 20 years in prison, ten years for each count he faces.
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Kelly Dearmore

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