ALBANY, NEW YORK – Justin W. May, age 37, of Edinburg, New York, was sentenced today to 72 months in prison for possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possessing a machinegun, and manufacturing marijuana.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Acting New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett.
On April 12, 2016, the New York State Police responded to a call for shots fired on Fox Hill Road in Edinburg. Upon arrival, one individual was immediately taken into custody, but the second shooter, later identified as May, was not visible. In response, State Police members looked around May’s property and observed a marijuana grow operation, along with an AR-15-type weapon.
May later returned home and was taken into custody. He possessed two handguns in his vehicle. The State Police executed a search warrant on the property and found marijuana plants in various stages of growth, approximately 6 pounds of processed marijuana, two semi-automatic rifles, and other firearms.
Further ATF examination of one of the rifles, an AR-15 type, .300 Blackout caliber rifle, concluded that the hammer had been modified to allow the firearm to fire automatically, as a machinegun. May admitted during his plea on November 21, 2018, that he knew the Blackout rifle, as modified, was a machinegun, and that he possessed two handguns to protect his marijuana grow operation and drug money.
United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino sentenced May to 12 months in prison for growing marijuana and for possessing the machinegun, to run concurrently, and imposed a mandatory 60-month consecutive sentence for possessing the handguns in furtherance of drug trafficking. May must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release once out of prison and pay a $3,000 fine.
This case was investigated by ATF and the New York State Police, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas Collyer and Jeffrey Coffman.