MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A former analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for making a gun silencer at his home.
Jonathan L. Wienke had reached a plea deal in December, pleading guilty to one count of violating the National Firearms Act, news outlets report.
The 46-year-old was indicted on seven charges after he was found in possession of a loaded .22-caliber revolver at his government workplace in Washington, D.C., in 2016, prompting federal officials to search his West Virginia home. The remaining charges were dismissed in the plea deal, which includes two years' supervised release after his time in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Krasinski told the court a federal agent deemed Wienke's silencer to be "the most effective silencer that he had ever seen," and that Wienke's social media indicated he was well aware of tax and licensing regulations for firearm manufacturing. Security officers at the government workplace found a folding knife, handheld radio-communication devices, pepper spray labeled for use by law enforcement, handcuffs, an infrared camera and a device to test blood-alcohol levels in Wienke's backpack.
However, the government found no evidence of terrorist intentions, assistant federal public defender Nicholas J. Compton told the court. Compton highlighted Wienke's lack of criminal history and military service, which included a deployment to Iraq and a medical discharge. He said the silencer was intended for use at a firing range. Wienke, who was subsequently fired, had a top-secret clearance.
He has moved to Pennsylvania and remains free on bond, pending appeal.