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Sacramento At Center Of Untraceable 'Ghost Gun' Surge

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An untraceable weapon linked to a high-profile crime in Stockton is surging in popularity in Sacramento.

The capital city has become a hotbed for ghost guns, and feds say they can be traced to a Sacramento man known as Dr. Death. He's awaiting sentencing for helping create the illegal weapons.

Daniel Crowningshield is seen in his shop coaching a customer through the steps to make an untraceable rifle. His shop was so busy, an undercover agent said customers were lined up at the door.

The law allows the hobbyist to make and own unregistered firearms, but not to sell the guns. He was advertising his shop as a place where people could make a gun in 20 minutes by pressing a few buttons with plenty of help from Dr. Death.

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents say he's a felon who can't legally pass a background check to buy a gun.

"He created a fiction of them being the manufacturer," said Graham Barlowe, who is in charge of the ATF's Sacramento office.

He says with cash payments, no questions asked, no background check, no serial number and no registration, the guns left the machine shop and vanished from the legal record. Agents have no way of knowing how many Dr. Death sold, but believe it was hundreds, at a minimum.

A ghost gun was in the hands of robbers during the deadly Stockton Bank of the West robbery in July 2014. Hostage Misty Holt-Singh died in the shootout with police, as did the felon who had gotten his hands on an AK-47-type ghost gun he couldn't legally purchase.

"The FBI has recently concluded a case where they were purchasing ghost guns from criminal organizations," Barlowe said.

In recent months, the ATF has seized hundreds of ghost guns and silencers made in other machine shops in the Sacramento area. Eight men have also been arrested.

Dr. Death entered a guilty plea to unlawfully manufacturing and dealing in firearms and will be sentenced in June.

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