Federal Jury Convicts Murfreesboro Man of Smuggling Silencers into the United States

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Defendant Traveled to England to Purchase Silencers and Ship Them into the United States
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – March 13, 2017 – Paul Gratton, 50, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was found guilty today by a federal jury of delivering of a firearm to a common carrier without written notice; illegal shipment of a firearm with intent to commit a felony; illegal importation of a firearm; illegal receipt of a firearm that had been imported; and unlawful possession of unregistered silencers, announced Jack Smith, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The jury acquitted Gratton of tampering with evidence.
 
The jury returned its verdict following a two-day trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Kevin H. Sharp.
 
The evidence at trial showed that, in the spring of 2015, Gratton, who owns a helicopter servicing business in Murfreesboro, traveled to England, where he purchased six firearm silencers, none of which had serial numbers, from a firearms dealer in Sheffield. Gratton put some of the silencer parts into a DHL package, which he deliberately mislabeled in order to ensure that those silencers got through U.S. Customs without being discovered by the authorities. Gratton put other silencer parts into his checked baggage, and flew back to Murfreesboro. Federal law enforcement officers later obtained a search warrant for Gratton’s residence, where they recovered the silencers and obtained a confession from Gratton. 
 
Gratton faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
 
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms & Explosives; the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Murfreesboro Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ben Schrader and Ahmed Safeeullah.    
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