A former Ohio National Guard soldier was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for making and selling “ghost guns,” according to the Justice Department.
Thomas Develin, 25, pleaded guilty in October to charges of making a firearm, unlawfully manufacturing and dealing machine guns and manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license. He was sentenced on March 1 in a federal court.
The Columbus resident also made antisemitic and violent statements online while employed to provide security services at local Jewish schools and synagogues, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
Develin was arrested on March 31, 2022, with agents finding a wide variety of weapons and gear in his vehicle. The equipment included “night vision goggles, ballistic plates, a ballistic helmet, first aid equipment and a large quantity of ammunition including several loaded magazines,” according to the report.
Agents also found over 25 firearms in Develin’s home, including two IED manuals. Develin also admitted to hiding and destroying incriminating evidence.
Develin’s original arrest report stated that Develin advertised his services online, offering to sell 3D printed “sears,” devices to convert semiautomatic AR-style rifles into fully automatic rifles. He also manufactured a two-handed firearm over 26 inches in length in violation of the law.
The Justice Department noted that Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF); and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Sarah D. Morrison.
The law enforcement agencies were assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with Assistant United States Attorneys Peter K. Glenn-Applegate and Jessica W. Knight representing the U.S. in this case.
Develin’s sentence also included six years of supervised release after his prison sentence.
A letter to the judge from Develin said that he became depressed and turned to heavy drinking after his deployment to Afghanistan in 2017 to 2018.
“I never intended to put fear into the community,” Develin wrote. “Now that our discussions have been made public, I realize the shock, fright, and pain it has caused others.”