FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – He handed the man the backpack and watched him pull out a 9-millimeter caliber hand gun.
It’s a ghost gun, David Talarico told the man. Completely untraceable.
He made it himself, he said.
Plus, he made “switches,” which turn it from a pistol to a machine gun in a snap.
He had lots of guns, Talarico said.
And everything was for sale.
What the 20-year-old Talarico did not know during that January meeting in the parking lot of a local fitness center, according to U.S. District Court documents, is that he was talking to an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
He never knew during their next meeting, either, when the undercover agent told him he was a felon and couldn’t buy firearms legally, according to federal authorities. He didn’t know – for sure at least – until his arrest more than a week later.
Talarico pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to trafficking firearms without a license and possessing and transferring a machine gun.
In exchange for his guilty plea, federal prosecutors will drop charges of trafficking a firearm to another trafficker, selling a firearm to a convicted felon and receiving a firearm while under indictment for a separate felony.
They also agreed to recommend a lighter sentence than the 15-year maximum he faces, according to court documents.
Federal agents became aware of Talarico after a criminal informant tipped them off to a potential gun trafficker in Fort Wayne this past January, according to court documents.
The undercover agent, along with the criminal informant, went through several meetings with another man before coming face to face with Talarico.
During that first meeting, Talarico sold the agent and the informant the ghost gun – which is a gun without a serial number or identification markings and is typically made out of parts that can be bought commercially.
He also sold them a Glock handgun and showed them videos on his phone of a fully automatic rifle he claimed to have for sale. He told them that, for $200 a pop, he could get them “switches” – which is a conversion device that can turn any handgun into a machine gun.
The “switches” Talarico had for sale would allow the Glock he just sold the agent to fire 15 rounds in two seconds, he said in court documents.
Another meeting was then set up so the undercover agent could buy three more pistols plus a fully automatic rifle, according to court documents. Talarico met the agent, plus another undercover agent, somewhere on Coldwater Road on Feb. 8.
Right before that meeting, Talarico contacted the agents and told them to drive around a parking lot.
“I was pretty skeptical, I’m not gonna lie, I thought you were ATF,” he would later tell the agents, according to court documents.
During this meeting, the undercover agent asked about bulk deals. Talarico told him he could get 15 Glock pistols and could do those kinds of deals, according to court documents. The agent also asked about Talarico’s personal firearm he was carrying.
“Everything’s for sale,” he said.
The agent bought that firearm, and then asked about ammunition.
Talarico said he could get ammunition another day, and that also that he needed to go to a storage facility to retrieve the fully automatic rifle he had previously talked about with the undercover agent, according to court documents.
A day later, agents arrested Talarico while he drove to a gun shop in Auburn to purchase ammunition, according to court documents.
Talarico is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.
He is also scheduled to plead guilty in state court in connection to felony reckless driving and resisting law enforcement charges out of LaGrange County, according to court records.