SACRAMENTO—Special agents in the California Department of Justice's (DOJ) Bureau of Firearms assisted in an investigation in which a Sacramento man has pleaded guilty to manufacturing and dealing firearms and possession of unregistered machine gun.
In his plea agreement on April 14, 2016, Daniel Albert Crowninshield, 53, who was also known by his online moniker “Dr-Death,” admitted that he operated an unlicensed firearms manufacturing business out of C&G Tool, a metal shop in North Sacramento. Using sophisticated computer controlled machines, Crowninshield manufactured lower receivers for AR-15s and other firearms. Crowninshield did not conduct background checks, enforce waiting periods, or complete firearm transaction paperwork.
"This type of illegal activity can lead to the harm or death of innocent people," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. CSLEA represents DOJ special agents. "DOJ special agents in the Bureau of Firearms investigate illegal firearm activity and routinely remove firearms from those who are legally prohibited from being in possession of one. This is vital work in the protection of Californians and those who visit here."
Crowninshield advertised such services on at least one online firearm enthusiast forum. Using the moniker “Dr-Death," he was a prolific poster on the website. Additionally, other members frequently posted about Dr-Death, including review of service provided and recommending that other users visit his shop.
“The manufacturing and unlicensed sale for profit of high-capacity firearms is a serious threat to public safety,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “We will continue to vigorously investigate unlicensed gun dealers and prosecute violations of the federal firearms laws.”
“Daniel Crownshield, AKA: Dr. Death owned and operated a machine shop where he allowed customers with unknown backgrounds to use his machinery to unlawfully manufacture firearms for profit,” said Special Agent in Charge Jill A. Snyder. “ATF regulates the firearm industry, and it is illegal to manufacture and sell firearms without possessing a federal firearms license, and without conducting background checks. ATF’s goal is to keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited individuals and prevent violent crime.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms, with the assistance of the Sacramento Police Department, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol.
Crowninshield is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Troy L. Nunley on June 30, 2016. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.