Tallahassee man receives seven years in prison on ‘ghost gun’ conviction

Federal courthouse in Tallahassee
Officers executing a search warrant turned up eight AR-15 style firearms.

A Tallahassee resident who pleaded guilty to charges related to “ghost gun” manufacturing received a sentence of seven years and three months on Monday in U.S. District Court.

Carlos Urena, 38, came under investigation when the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received information from a confidential informant that Urena was carrying around 20 or so firearms in guitar cases.

ATF agents obtained financial records from Truist Bank showing Urena spent around $8,000 at various websites in June and July 2021 to purchase gun parts and gun kits, according to federal prosecutors’ statement of facts. Tallahassee Police then set up a pole camera by his residence and recorded images of him carrying guitar cases and soft-sided rifle cases in and out of this home.

“Removing ‘ghost guns’ from the hands of convicted felons is essential in fighting violent crime and protecting the public,” U.S. Attorney Jason Coody said in a statement. “This investigation and the resulting sentence demonstrate that cooperation between law-abiding citizens and law enforcement makes our communities safer.”

Officers executing a search warrant turned up eight AR-15 style firearms, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and three polymer-80 Glock-style pistols. The AR-15 style rifles and the Glock-style pistols are all privately made weapons assembled from parts or kits. There were also thousands of rounds of many calibers of ammunition, and firearms parts including high-capacity magazines.

“ATF continues to work vigorously with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety and protection of the communities that we serve,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Craig Saier said in a statement, “and to make sure the felons in possession of firearms are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Urena had nine prior felony convictions before this one, so he was already banned from possessing firearms or ammunition. Following his prison term, Urena is to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $50,000 fine.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook: facebook.com/wes.wolfe


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