United States v. Maturino, No. 17-10251 (5th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5861(d) criminalizes possession of certain unregistered firearms, including silencers and “destructive devices” like grenades. Sentences for such crimes may be enhanced based on the number of devices involved. In a sting operation, Maturino tried to buy 144 live grenades (plus other firearms) from an undercover ATF agent for a Mexican drug cartel, but 143 were inert. Maturino pleaded guilty under the Act/ The district court, quoting Sentencing Guidelines commentary, imposed an eight-level enhancement based on the number of grenades “sought to be obtained.” The Fifth Circuit affirmed, rejecting Maturino’s argument that his sentence should reflect what he bought (one live grenade) not what he sought. Maturino’s plan to stockpile live grenades failed, but the sentencing court properly considered what he pursued, not what he possessed.