U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Rejjie Ni, 24, of Shanghai, China, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to possession of a machine gun. The charge carries carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a $250.000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who is handling the case, stated that on March 18, 2019, the Amherst Police Department responded to the defendant’s apartment following a report that there were a large number of firearms inside the residence. During the execution of a search warrant, officers recovered 33 rifles, two shotguns, and numerous rounds of ammunition, including armor piercing bullets.
One of the rifles recovered was a semi-automatic rifle under Ni’s bed. Subsequent investigation and expert analysis determined that the defendant had converted the semi-automatic rifle into a fully automatic machinegun.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division, the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey, and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 5, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.