Sequim man found guilty of machine gun possession

Sequim Gazette staff

Jesse Lee Spencer of Sequim was convicted by a Clallam County jury on Dec. 4 of possession of a machine gun and bail jump, according to Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office sources.


According to court records and testimony, law enforcement received a citizen tip that Spencer, 56, was attempting to sell an AR-15 rifle which had been converted to fire automatically.


Spencer told the citizen that the rifle was “full auto” and the citizen should be careful only to fire in a secluded location because people would call police if they heard “full auto” fire, according to the prosecutor’s office. Spencer was asking $2,500, according to court testimony.


The citizen and Spencer arranged a meeting in a gas station parking lot. When Spencer arrived, he was met by law enforcement who located the gun in his vehicle, prosecutor’s office sources said.


A test firing of the weapon revealed that the trigger mechanism of the Panther Arms AR-15 had been altered to convert the rifle to fire in a “burst mode” of several rounds with only one pull of the trigger. The conversion was inexpertly done, creating a risk of jamming during firing with a possible bursting of the gun, injuring or blinding the shooter, according to testimony of firearms expert Port Angeles Police Detective Kevin Spencer (no relation).


Jesse Lee Spencer also was convicted of jumping bail. Testimony was that he failed to appear for a scheduled trial date and was arrested six weeks later in a casino parking lot.


He faces three to eight months jail time at sentencing on Jan. 10, the prosecutor’s office said.
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