Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 12, 2014

Man gets 4 1⁄2 years for machine gun

ASHLAND — An Ashland man was sentenced Monday to 41⁄2 years in a federal penitentiary for possessing an assault rifle he had modified to be fully automatic.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning sentenced Adam L. Collins, 34, to 54 months on a charge of possession of a machine gun, to which Collins pleaded guilty in November.

Three additional charges — possession of a firearm by a drug user, possession of a machine gun and possession of an unregistered firearm — were dismissed under the terms of Collins’ plea agreement.

Bunning also sentenced Collins to a three-year term of supervised release to follow to his term of incarceration, which the judge recommended be served concurrently with any sentence Collins might receive upon the pending revocation of his probation in Ironton Municipal Court.

Bunning also ordered Collins to participate in the Bureau of Prisons’ 500-hour substance abuse treatment program and an anger-management program, and recommended he be placed in the institution closest to Ashland that offers the drug treatment program.

Collins was indicted in September on charges stemming from events that occurred in May. According to court records, officers were dispatched to a location in Ohio to investigate a report of a man with gun. When they arrived, they made contact with Collins and recovered a short-barreled AK-47 machine gun, a Ruger .22-caliber rifle with a scope and a .45-caliber pistol, along with several pills.

Collins admitted to having modified the AK-47 to be fully automatic, records state. He also admitted to having all of the seized items in his possession at his home in Boyd County before moving them to Ohio.

On July 30, an Ohio probation officer conducted a search of Collins’ residence and recovered a sawed-off Rossi .410 shotgun, which Collins admitted to having modified, along with ammunition and several other items. Then, on Aug. 5, federal agents recovered a Norinco SKS machine gun, FEG SA2000M rifle and a Lorcin .380-caliber pistol from a Boyd County resident. He and Collins admitted they knew one another, and that Collins had passed the weapons to the man and planned to retrieve them later.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 51 to 63 months for Collins. Defense attorney Michael Fox of Olive Hill argued for a lesser term, saying his client modified guns as a hobby, but never intended to use the weapons to hurt anyone.

However, prosecutors sought a 57-month term, maintaining it was needed due to Collins’ history of violating terms of supervised release, his record of assault and weapons offenses and his history of substance abuse.

“The defendant is a drug user with a history of domestic violence, and, as such, had no business possessing any firearms, much less the dangerously modified ones involved here,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bracke wrote.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

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