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Fargo man sentenced for having ghost guns, illegally importing silencers from China

Matthew Kraft was ordered to serve 30 months in prison.

Kraft.JPG
Matthew Kraft
Cass County Jail
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FARGO — A Fargo man will spend 30 months in prison for possessing ghost guns and illegally imported silencers.

Matthew Sawyer Kraft, 31, was sentenced Monday, Aug. 22, after pleading guilty to receiving or possessing firearms, receiving or possessing an unregistered firearm, illegally importing a firearm and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

Kraft was charged Aug. 18, 2021, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a package from China that was slated for Fargo, according to a news release. The package contained a silencer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Dakota said.

Officers who searched Kraft’s home found “an arsenal of weapons,” including short-barreled rifles, ghost guns and more than 20 silencers, the release said. Most of the weapon suppressors were illegally imported from China, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In total, he had eight guns, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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“It is extremely dangerous to have unregulated firearms, such as ghost guns, circulating throughout the community,” said Jamie Holt, acting special agent in charge for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Saint Paul. “It’s not just the unregistered weapons themselves that present an obvious danger, but the criminal networks who are profiting from the sale of these illegal arms.”

The case represented prosecutors’ commitment to reducing gun violence by disrupting illegal gun trafficking in the area, acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl said.

Ghost guns are typically bought online without background checks and assembled at the purchaser's home, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Terry VanHorn said. The weapons don't have serial numbers, making them impossible to trace.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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