A Saline County man accused along with the son of former Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller with weapons charges related to the possession and transfer of machine guns pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to a charge of making a false statement to acquire firearms.
Noah Michael Millea, 20, of Benton was originally charged with two counts of transfer of a machine gun in a seven-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury on Dec. 1, 2020.
Last August, he was additionally charged in a superseding indictment with one count each of transferring machines guns and making a false statement to obtain firearms. In exchange for his guilty plea Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon agreed to ask for dismissal of the remaining counts.
He faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a possible maximum $250,000 fine along with a mandatory $100 special assessment and up to three years on supervised release.
Millea, who has been free on pretrial release, was accompanied by his attorney, Jason Files of Little Rock, to the hearing.
Gordon said that on July 30, 2020, North Little Rock police conducting a drug trafficking investigation arrested a man at a local motel who was in possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia, cash and a loaded Glock 9mm pistol equipped with a "Glock switch" that converted the pistol from a semi-automatic to a fully automatic weapon capable of firing the entire contents of the magazine with a single pull of the trigger.
"The male cooperated with law enforcement and identified Henry Louis Rockefeller as the person who sold him the Glock 9mm pistol with the Glock switch in exchange for $600 and a small amount of heroin," Gordon said.
He said that between Aug. 7 and Oct. 29, 2020, undercover federal agents bought two Glock switches and nine AR-15 drop-in auto sears from Rockefeller.
"In two of those transactions, then defendant ... delivered the machine gun conversion devices for Rockefeller," Gordon said. "On Sept. 22, 2020, an undercover agent met with Rockefeller at Rockefeller's apartment to purchase two Diamondback DE-15 multicaliber rifles and two drop-in auto-sears for $1,640. After Rockefeller gave the undercover agent the rifles, he told him, 'the dude is coming to drop off the auto-sears.'"
"The dude," Gordon said, was Millea, who met Rockefeller and the undercover agent later in a parking lot and handed Rockefeller an orange bag containing the auto-sears.
"Did you listen carefully to everything Mr. Gordon had to say?" U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky asked Millea.
"Yes, sir," Millea answered.
"Is everything he said 100% accurate?" Rudofsky asked, to which Millea again replied affirmatively.
"Are there any even small inaccuracies?" Rudofsky asked. "This is the time to tell me."
"They seem accurate for my part," Millea said.
After accepting Millea's guilty plea to the charge of making a false statement to acquire firearms, Rudofsky explained the pre-sentence report process. After hearing from Files, who told him that Millea had had no violations of his pretrial release conditions and from Gordon who raised no objection, Rudofsky allowed Millea to remain free on bond until sentencing.