Northern District of Georgia |  Two Clayton County men have been sentenced to prison after firing machine guns at federal agents

ATLANTA — Anthony Maseda and Erik Arreola-Torres have been convicted of their involvement in a plan to convert semi-automatic firearms into machine guns and to sell the fully automatic firearms from a residence in Clayton County, Georgia. Arreola-Torres was shooting at federal special agents and local law enforcement officers with a fully automatic machine gun as investigators arrived at the home to execute a search warrant.

“Maseda and Arreola-Torres put the lives of several law enforcement officers and community residents at risk while law enforcement officers investigated defendants’ machine gun smuggling,” said US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This office and its law enforcement partners will identify, target and prosecute those individuals who threaten the safety of our communities through the manufacture and sale of automatic firearms. We commend the work of our dedicated agency partners on this case and are grateful that no one was injured in this violent incident.”

“Thanks to the combined efforts of ATF and its law enforcement partners, criminal elements have been surgically removed from the Clayton County community and placed where they belong: in the criminal justice system, where they will be processed and prosecuted for illegal gun activity,” said Alisha Jones, deputy Special agent in charge of the ATF’s Atlanta Field Division.

“This study reaffirms the importance of our agency’s collaboration with our federal partners. The arrests that resulted from this joint investigation with the ATF certainly saved lives in Clayton County and likely the metro area as well. The Clayton County Police Department will continue to work with our federal and state law enforcement agencies to reduce violent crime in our community,” said Kevin Roberts, Clayton County Police Commissioner.

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court read: From January to March 2022, Anthony Maseda and Erik Arreola-Torres ran a firearms and machine gun trafficking operation from a home in Jonesboro, Georgia. Maseda, a previously convicted felon and leader of the operation, illegally imported auto-sear devices, also known as “switches,” from China. Possession of an auto-sear device is a criminal offense under federal law, even if the device is not installed in a firearm.

With the help of Auto-Sears, Maseda converted numerous firearms into fully automatic machine guns and then promoted the sale of machine guns, Auto-Sears and semi-automatic firearms on his public Instagram page. Federal special agents obtained a search warrant for the Jonesboro apartment after Maseda and Arreola-Torres sold a machine gun, semi-automatic firearm and several switches to an undercover informant at the apartment.

On the morning of March 3, 2022, special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, assisted by the Clayton County Police Department, executed the search warrant at the Jonesboro home. As police officers stood in front of the house, Arreola-Torres took out a machine gun and fired at agents and officers from inside the house, firing dozens of rounds in the investigators’ direction. Luckily nobody was hit or injured.

After securing the crime scene and taking Maseda and Arreola-Torres into custody, agents found six fully automatic machine guns, four other automatic firearms, five other firearms, numerous firearm parts and magazines, ammunition, bulletproof body armor and distribution quantities of marijuana and marijuana at the residence digital scales. One of the guns had an illegible serial number.

Erik Arreola-Torres, 20, of Jonesboro, Georgia, was sentenced by US District Judge Steven D. Grimberg on May 7, 2023 to 10 years and one month in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. On October 17, 2022, he pled guilty to possession of a machine gun and conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license.

Anthony Maseda, 21, of Jonesboro, Georgia, was also sentenced by Judge Grimberg to nine years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to possession of a machine gun on October 13, 2022.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Clayton County Police Department.

Assistant US Attorney Annalize K. Peters presided over the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence and make our neighborhoods safer for all. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a Violent Crime Reduction Strategy to strengthen the PSN based on these core principles: foster trust and legitimacy in our communities, support community-based organizations that help prevent violence in the first place, targeted and strategic Setting enforcement priorities and measuring results.

For more information, please contact the US Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs at or (404) 581-6016. The web address of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is