Man Who Brought Car with Guns, Explosives to Auto Glass Pleads Guilty

A man — in whose bullet-ridden car Cascade Auto Glass workers found weapons and explosives — pleaded guilty on January 10 to illegally owning a machine gun.

The Fife, Washington, auto glass shop called the police on October 4, 2023, after employees noticed bullet holes in the body of a black Mazda 3 brought in for rear sidelite replacement. They also saw guns and explosives in its trunk. Police arrived at the shop and arrested Brady Lee Eltz, 39, for possession of illegal weapons.

A search of the vehicle discovered three more firearms, including a stolen rifle rigged to fire automatically. They also found a bag with two improvised explosive devices. Bomb technicians disarmed the explosives.

Police also found two additional rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, latex face masks, body armor, gun sites, holsters, and other firearms accessories. Eltz also had GPS trackers, several knives, and a voice-changing device.

After the police arrested Eltz, they searched the shop’s bathroom, where he had fled. They found two 9 mm handguns, one of which had an illegal “auto-sear” switch installed, allowing the gun to be fired automatically, making it a machine gun, according to the federal indictment.

In the vehicle’s trunk, police found three more firearms, including a stolen rifle rigged to fire automatically. They also discovered a bag with two improvised explosive devices. Bomb technicians disarmed the explosives.

Police also found two additional rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, latex face masks, body armor, gun sites, holsters, and other firearms accessories. Eltz also had GPS trackers, several knives, and a voice-changing device.

According to the federal prosecutor, Eltz is prohibited from possessing firearms due to prior criminal convictions, including a 2013 conviction for which he was sentenced to five years in prison.

The prosecutor says illegal possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Possession of a machine gun is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Eltz will be sentenced on the weapon charge on April 12.

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