Michael Emry pleads guilty to possession of a machine gun
Michael Emry pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to possessing a fully automatic .50-caliber machine gun that he brought to Oregon in a van loaned to him by Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Prosecutors will recommend he spend two and a half years in prison, under the negotiated plea deal. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on April 6 in U.S. District Court in Eugene.
The 54-year-old, according to a federal prosecutor, admitted he stole the machine gun from a man in Idaho, obliterated its serial number and traveled with it from Idaho to Oregon in December 2015 in Bundy’s van. He, Bundy, Ryan Payne and other militants stayed in a house in Burns at that time, according to the prosecutor.
On Jan. 11, Emry, of John Day, informed a Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy at a law enforcement checkpoint at the Burns airport that there was a .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun on the refuge, according to a court filing by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Lichvarchik. The deputy perceived Emry’s statement as an attempt to intimidate law enforcement during the occupation of the federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon.
Before FBI agents executed the search warrant on Emry’s trailer in John Day in May, Emry had been negotiating to sell the Browning M2 machine gun in Oregon to an undercover law enforcement officer who posed as a convicted felon and captain of a Texas militia group, Lichvarchik wrote in a court filing.
Emry told agents that the firearm was fully automatic and could fire between 550 and 650 rounds per minute, according to federal prosecutors.
A possession of a machine gun conviction could bring a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.