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Tallahassee man sentenced to 7 years in prison for making ‘ghost guns’

Carlos Urena, 38, had pleaded guilty to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon...
Carlos Urena, 38, had pleaded guilty to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle.(Leon County Jail)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man has been sentenced to a little over seven years in federal prison after pleading guilty to making ghost guns, according to a press release from the State Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.

Carlos Urena, 38, had pleaded guilty to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

U.S. Attorney Jason Coody says taking “ghost guns” out of the hands of convicted felons is crucial as law enforcement works to protect the public and combat violent crime.

“This investigation and the resulting sentence demonstrate that cooperation between law-abiding citizens and law enforcement makes our communities safer,” Coody says.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Tallahassee Police Department began a joint investigation into Urena after they received a tip he had a “large number” of guns in his possession.

Financial documents showed that between June 17, 2021, and July 7, 2021, Urena had spent about $8,000 on several websites selling firearm parts and part kits, the press release says.

ATF and TPD executed federal search warrants at Urena’s home and business on July 22, 2021. Agents and officers found the following:

  • Eight AR-15 style firearms
  • Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun
  • Three polymer-80 Glock-style pistols
  • Springfield Armory 9-mm pistol
  • ATA Arms 12-gauge shotgun
  • Thousands of rounds of ammunition in different calibers
  • Firearm parts, including high-capacity magazines and AR-style firearm receivers
  • Tools for assembling guns

Investigators say most of the guns were ones Urenad assembled himself using parts he ordered from the internet. “Ghost guns” do not have serial numbers and are difficult to trace, according to the press release.

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

Urena had nine previous felony convictions before his arrest in this case. Before the search warrant was executed, he was placed on state probation for child abuse and possession of ammo by a convicted felon.

TPD Deputy Chief Jason Laursen says the department worked diligently to remove illegal guns from the community.

“This conviction is a testament to the vital role the judicial system plays in holding those accountable who aid individuals in the illegal possession of firearms that could be used in violent crimes against the citizens of Tallahassee,” Laursen says.

After Urena serves 87 months in prison, he will be on federal supervised release for three years. He was also hit with a $50,000 fine.

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