Sauk Rapids man sentenced for selling illegal guns

A Sauk Rapids man was sentenced to time in federal prison on Wednesday for unlicensed gun manufacturing and selling ghost guns.

In addition to five years in prison, Jay Olson will have to serve three years of supervised release. He was convicted in federal court of manufacturing and selling untraceable, unmarked guns. The U.S. Department of Justice says two of the guns Olson sold were a fully automatic machine gun and a silencer.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on April 26, 2022, Olson sold 16 ghost guns, nine high-capacity magazines, one silencer, a machine gun conversion device, and other firearm accessories out of a residence in Waite Park.

Olson told the buyer, a confidential source with the government, that the cost for the guns and accessories would be $20,000, a higher-than-normal price which was due to the government’s increasing concern about ghost guns at the time.

Investigators searched Olson’s home in Sauk Rapids on May 4, 2022. They recovered a slew of gun manufacturing materials, including an assembly diagram for a Glock firearm.

“Jay Olson was manufacturing and trafficking untraceable, unmarked firearms and accessories, including a fully automatic machinegun and a silencer,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said in a statement. “The proliferation of these ghost guns and machinegun conversion devices presents a serious threat to the safety of our communities. To underscore the significance of his crimes, Mr. Olson has been handed the statutory maximum prison term.”

Authorities determined Olson was offering to sell these weapons to people he knew or had reason to know were prohibited from owning a gun or intending to use them for illegal purposes.

Olson pleaded guilty to one count of willfully engaging in the business of manufacturing firearms without a license in federal court on Sept. 28.