Man pleads guilty to possessing stolen machine gun

By ROBIN FITZGERALD – rfitzgerald@sunherald.com

GULFPORT

A Biloxi man awaits sentencing on a guilty plea to possession of a stolen machine gun.

Verlon Chad McKenzie, 28, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing Oct. 28.

A three-count federal indictment charged him with possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a machine gun and possession of an unregistered firearm.

He pleaded guilty to one count Monday before U.S. Senior District Judge Walter J. Gex III.

Documents identify the machine gun as a .223-caliber Bushmaster.

He was in possession of the automatic weapon in Harrison County on March 17, according to the indictment.

Court records show McKenzie on Monday agreed with the facts as presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams, but McKenzie said he didn’t know the weapon was a machine gun.

The National Firearms Act requires certain types of weapons to be taxed and records kept on their owners.

Registration was enacted in response to the St. Valentine’s massacre of 1929 in Chicago after seven people were killed in a gang war between opposing groups led by Al Capone and Bugs Moran.

Federal law prohibits civilians from owning machine guns manufactured after May 1986.

Older machine guns are taxed at $200 every time ownership changes.

Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2010/08/04/2383454/man-pleads-guilty-to-possessing.html#ixzz0vkQcA2MF

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