HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has indicted a 43-year-old
Houston man on four counts of firearms violations including possession of a
machine gun, specifically, a bump stock, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K.
The four-count indictment, returned yesterday, alleges
Ajay Dhingra possessed a machine gun, made two materially false statements in
the acquisition of two firearms and unlawfully possessed a firearm after
having been adjudicated as a mental defective or who had been committed to a
Previously charged by criminal complaint, he made his
initial appearance in federal court Aug., 19, 2019, at which time he was
ordered into custody pending further criminal proceedings. He is expected to
appear for his arraignment before U.S. District Judge Gray Miller Sept. 12, 2019,
at 10:00 a.m.
According to court records, on or about Aug. 17, 2019,
Dhingra called the George Bush Foundation and left a concerning message.
Authorities discovered Dhingra had previously been committed to a mental
institution, according to the allegations. As such, he is prohibited by federal
law of possessing a firearm or ammunition.
The charges further allege law enforcement contacted Dhingra
at his residence where they found two firearms in his possession, one of which
law enforcement identified as a rifle with an installed bump stock.
Authorities obtained a search warrant, which allegedly
resulted in the discovery of a Glock pistol, a Colt rifle with a bump stock and
277 rounds of 9 mm ammunition.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF), this is the first case filed in Texas and what
is believed to be the first nationwide involving illegal possession of bump
stocks since the law was implemented in March 2019.
If convicted of any of the charges, Dhingra faces up to
10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine on each count.
The Secret Service and ATF conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ted Imperato and Steven Schammel are prosecuting the