North Kingstown man convicted of 3D printing ghost guns
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a North Kingstown man was convicted in Washington County Superior Court of multiple counts of manufacturing ghost guns following an investigation by the North Kingstown Police Department that began in May 2021.
Nicholas Dailey (age 30) entered a plea of nolo contendere to two counts of manufacture and possession of a ghost gun, produced by a 3D printing process.
At a hearing on July 21, 2022, before Superior Court Justice Melanie Wilk Thunberg, the Court sentenced the defendant to four years, with one year to serve at the Adult Correctional Institution and a three-year suspended sentence.
“Since ghost guns were banned in Rhode Island in mid-2020, our office has prosecuted nearly 50 cases where these untraceable firearms are being found in the hands of individuals involved in criminal activity,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Ghost guns are fully operable firearms without serial numbers that thus cannot be traced by law enforcement after they are used in criminal activity. They are sought after by individuals who value them for that very reason, and/or cannot pass a background check. They can be made with parts ordered on the internet, or as the case here, from a 3D printer in a person’s living room. There is no question that they are the gun of choice for many Rhode Island criminals, and present a clear threat to public safety. I am grateful to the North Kingstown and Warwick Police Departments for their excellent work during the investigation. Their outstanding efforts led to the seizure of several ghost guns and prevented the completion of additional ones.”
Had this case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in 2021, the defendant manufactured several ghost guns and several pistol frames using a 3D printer at a home in North Kingstown.
On May 4, 2021, officers from the Warwick Police Department, acting on a tip that the defendant was in possession of ghost guns, conducted a traffic stop of the defendant’s vehicle where they located two loaded 17-round 9mm pistol magazines along with several spent 9mm shell casings. Officers noticed that the magazines did not have manufacturers markings on them and the material they were made from displayed a pattern of parallel lines consistent with markings of items printed with a 3D printer.
During the traffic stop, the defendant admitted to officers that he possessed two 3D printed handguns at his home in North Kingstown. Officers notified the North Kingstown Police department of the suspected ghost guns.
Detectives later responded to the defendant’s home, and after gaining consent to search, seized two complete 3D printed ghost gun copies of a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic handgun. Detectives also seized three defective 3D printed Glock 17 frames, a 3D printer, a laptop, and a box of 9mm ammunition.
The defendant later admitted to 3D printing copies of Glock 17 frames and magazines based on plans that he had downloaded from the internet. He also admitted to ordering gun parts that he used to complete the ghost guns.
The two ghost guns were successfully test fired at the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory and deemed to be operable.
Detectives Gregory Miga and Michael Bernardo of the North Kingstown Police Department and Assistant Attorney General Mark Trovato of the Office of the Attorney General conducted the investigation and prosecution of the case, with the assistance of the Warwick Police Department.