Metro East teenager accused of trafficking Glock switches from China

A 19-year-old from Cahokia Heights is accused of trafficking Glock switches from China.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 1:27 PM CDT
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EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A 19-year-old from Cahokia Heights is accused of trafficking Glock switches from China.

According to court documents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Chicago intercepted a package containing 10 Glock switches from China en route to an address for Carlos Akins in December 2022. The Illinois State Police Department was told of the package, and troopers partnered with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to arrest the teenager.

“We are seeing these coming from Chinese markets and interestingly enough, they’re made [most] commonly through 3D printing,” said Master Seargent Christopher Watson with the Illinois State Police.

Authorities said Akins gave consent to law enforcement to search his bedroom after he was arrested. During the search, authorities said they found a Glock with a purple switch, an extended magazine and an additional cell phone.

In an interview, Akins reportedly admitted to ordering Glock switches from an app. He also said he sold nine switches to customers for a total of $2,000, according to authorities.

Then, in January 2023, Homeland Security Investigators reported seizing another package of 10 Glock switches addressed to Akins.

Akins is accused of ordering 30 Glock switches in total from China. Federal law states auto sears, commonly known as Glock switches, are defined as a machine gun because the relatively simple and small conversion devices can turn semi-automatic pistols into automatic weapons.

“It creates an extremely dangerous where the firearm is now capable to fire multiple rounds with a single press of a trigger, and it’s also extremely dangerous for civilians without any kind of training to handle these weapons,” said Watson.

Akins is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun and one count of transporting prohibited weapons without a license. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in federal prison and face fines of up to $250,000.

Watson tells News 4 it is crucial to stop these switches from ending up on the streets.

“if the public is looking at their cohorts and sees these, by all means, please reach out to us. We need to get these off the streets they are a dangerous item,” he said.