EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A Cahokia Heights, Illinois, man was arraigned Monday in federal court for allegedly scheming to import Glock switches from China to St. Clair County.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said Carlos Akins, 19, ordered 30 machine gun conversion devices (MCDs) from China between late 2022 and January 2023.

These devices are small, about the size of a nickel, and can convert a standard, semi-automatic pistol into a fully-automatic weapon.

According to the indictment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Chicago discovered a package containing 10 MCDs (or Glock switches) en route to an East St. Louis address in December 2022.

CBP notified the Illinois State Police. State troopers and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives went and arrested Akins at that address.

Following the arrest, prosecutors claim Akins gave authorities permission to search his bedroom. Police discovered a Glock with a purple switch and extended magazine. During a subsequent interview, Akins admitted he ordered switches from an app and had already sold nine of the devices locally for approximately $2,000.

In January 2023, the Department of Homeland Security seized another package containing 10 Glock switches that had been shipped to Akins.

Akins was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun and one count of transporting prohibited weapons without a license.

Under the National Firearms Act, Glock switches or MCDs are considered machine guns, even when they’re not installed.

If convicted, Akins faces up to 15 years in federal prison and fines up to $250,000.