BOSTON (Reuters) - A Boston man was sentenced on Friday to serve almost five years in federal prison for having helped to sell weapons including six machine guns stolen from a Massachusetts U.S. Army Reserve facility in 2015.
Tyrone James, 29, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years' supervised release after pleading guilty in December to charges including conspiracy to possess, store and sell stolen firearms.
He was one of two men who admitted to receiving guns stolen from an Army Reserve facility in Worcester, Massachusetts, about 40 miles (70 km) west of Boston, in November 2015.
Federal prosecutors have charged James Morales with carrying out that heist, alleging he broke into the building through a kitchen window a few days after he noticed a cache of weapons while visiting the facility to pick up copies of his discharge papers. The cache included six M-4 carbine rifles and 10 handguns.
The M-4 rifle is considered a machine gun under federal law because it can fire a burst of three bullets with one pull of the trigger, prosecutors said.
Morales went on to share those guns with James and a third man, Ashley Bigsbee, who arranged to sell them illegally. Bigsbee has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and last week was sentenced to serve 21 months in federal prison.
In January, Morales briefly escaped from the maximum security detention facility in Rhode Island where is being held awaiting trial, a feat officials say he pulled off by scaling a building and climbing over razor-wire fencing before stealing a getaway vehicle.
He was captured days later in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after robbing a bank.
Morales, who has pleaded not guilty, is due to stand trial in April for charges including theft of government property and conspiracy.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Matthew Lewis)