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Proud Boy Member with Connections to Willits and Humboldt County Sentenced to Over Seven Years on Firearms Charges


The following is a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of New York

[Stock Image by Matt LaFever]

Jonathan M. Cuney, age 38, and a part-time resident of East Greenbush, New York, was sentenced today to 87 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for unlawfully possessing firearms including “ghost guns,” and ammunition.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

Cuney previously pled guilty to unlawfully possessing, as a felon, a Springfield Armory rifle and an FMK Firearms Inc. AR-15-style rifle receiver/frame, and to possessing three unregistered silencers, between September 9, 2019 and November 14, 2019. 

Cuney has a prior conviction for unlawful gun trafficking.  In December 2015, he pled guilty, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, to transporting and selling firearms with obliterated serial numbers while he was a licensed firearms dealer.  He was sentenced to 37 months in prison, and returned to East Greenbush in April 2017 upon his release from prison.

In pleading guilty on June 22, 2021, Cuney also admitted that from at least August 2018 until November 12, 2019, he purchased firearms parts from several dozen online retailers, and had these items shipped to East Greenbush; Willits, California (where he maintained a residence); and Providence, Rhode Island (where he formerly maintained a legitimate firearms business).  Cuney then used these firearms parts to manufacture non-serialized handguns and rifles, and silencers.  These firearms are often called “ghost guns” because they do not have serial numbers, making them more difficult for law enforcement to track.

ATF searched Cuney’s East Greenbush storage unit on November 14, 2019, and found it to contain, among other items:

  • Two (2) rifles,
  • One (1) revolver,
  • Four (4) serialized AR-15-style rifle receivers/frames,
  • Two (2) completed “ghost” guns,
  • Five (5) pistol parts kits,
  • Two (2) completed silencers and enough parts to build more than ten (10) silencers, and
  • An assorted quantity of firearm parts and accessories – of which five (5) would be classified as machine guns under federal law – and 3,250 rounds of assorted rifle and pistol ammunition.

Cuney also rented a storage unit in Redway, Humboldt County, California.  ATF searched this storage unit on November 20, 2019, and found it to contain, among other items:

  • Two (2) Glock pistols,
  • Seven (7) additional handguns,
  • Three (3) rifles,
  • One (1) shotgun,
  • Five (5) machinegun conversion kits,
  • More than ten (10) silencers, and
  • More than 1,000 rounds of assorted rifle and handgun ammunition. 

Cuney also admitted to unlawfully possessing, on September 17, 2019, in Columbia, Missouri, several thousand rounds of ammunition that he purchased at a firearms store through a straw purchaser.

He also admitted to unlawfully possessing, on November 12, 2019, near Tucson, Arizona, a pistol and a rifle, which were discovered during a traffic stop of a vehicle that Cuney was driving.

Cuney has also admitted to joining the Proud Boys organization in late 2018. 

In sentencing Cuney, Senior United States District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. noted that “ghost guns are killing people on the streets every day in this country.” 

Judge Scullin noted Cuney’s prior service in the United States Marine Corps, including a combat deployment to Iraq, but said that “any credit you might get for being a veteran is outweighed by your conduct as a criminal.  You know how to play the system. You tell a good story – an ‘A’ for creating writing, but an ‘F’ for conduct.” 

As part of his plea agreement, Cuney agreed to abandon a variety of firearms, silencers, ammunition, and firearm parts found in both East Greenbush and Redway, California, as well as the following items, all found in Redway: one pair of handcuffs with key; 56 Monadnock disposable single cuffs; and clothing items, patches and badges bearing law enforcement acronyms and insignia, including a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ball cap, FBI badges, FBI patches, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) patches, and DEA badges.

These cases were investigated by the ATF New York Field Division, with assistance from ATF Special Agents and Task Force Officers in Arizona, California, Missouri, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.  The California Highway Patrol also assisted in the investigation. 

The New York case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

The Arizona case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Serra M. Tsethlikai of the District of Arizona.

The Missouri case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver of the Western District of Missouri.

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  1. I m glad they arrested him. Its about time someone should get this bad citizens off the streets. I m ashamend of any American that could attack the peoples house.

  2. Why are these arrests and prosecutions always partisan issues? You shouldn’t be prosecuted in America based upon your political beliefs. Why during the recent race riots was it okay to loot, arson, murder, assault, and attempt a coup on the White House? See what I’m saying?

    • This guy getting arrested wasn’t partisan. He’s been on the feds radar for years for his illegal gun manufacturing and trafficking.

      How do conflate the issues?
      Did you read the article? Or is it a comprehesion provlem?

      • Oh we all know Jan 6 is a partisan witch-hunt. Go after the race rioters that burned police stations, burned police cars, burned places of worship, attempted to overthrow the White House, murdered, assaulted, caused millions of dollars in damage. Arrest these thugs and see what other charges can stick. BTW spelling is not you’re strong suit.

  3. My Grandfather, an honest, earnest, hard working, salt of the earth, sort of fellow, always said, til the day he died many years ago, at 93, “Never judge another man until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” .
    Truer words have never been spoken. I’d like to offer a different perspective to all, including the judge, actually, especially the judge. Why? because there, sits a man who’s very career & livelihood are based on the ideal of fair and just. Either way, I’d like you to consider that this is a young man who went off to to fight for his country, for the freedoms & rights of YOU, me, and the lot. Believing all the while he was doing the right thing, never running from the violence, & slaughter, but fearlessly running into it, as instructed by the US Millitary. All the while mindful of his brothers in arms, willing to trade his life to keep them safe as well. But when he is wounded in action, & left permanently disabled and disfigured, he is no longer useful to the US Milltary, so they medically discharge & send him home, while paying him “lip service” all the while knowing it’ll be years before he see’s a dime from the VA, if he ever sees it at all. But he still has a family to feed and no physical ability to work. So tell me, what is it he is supposed to do? How far do you think you would be willing to go to care for your family? I’ll tell you how far I was willing to go for mine and we didnt live large, that’s just to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads with heat on inside sometimes. I was willing to do whatever it would take. With the exception of a human trafficing Gratefully I didnt have to sell my soul, but then again, I was able bodied and worked 2 jobs at all times, 3 when schedules would permit, I didnt believe in breaking the law, anymore than he probably did, but when there was no food to offer those hungry little faces, there wasnt a thing I wouldnt have done. Not a single thing, so long as it didnt victimize others. Survival is an instinct, and when left to no other devices, it’s a proven fact folks will do whatever it takes. Up to, and including, eat each other! So he did what the US Military trained him to do, because it was the only available option, and of course once you’re caught and convicted, well, now the deal is sealed and there is never even gonna be the slightest chance, of a dime from the VA for certain, nor is anyone going to hire him, if he could work. So he is again left without options, he is no horrid criminal, he is like so many young men & women, left on the streets, without a single concern, or offer of help, from the very people they fought to defend. Oh no, we the “Moral” majority who simply pass judgment and feel good about remaining blissfully ignorant to what happens to these men and women, all the while enjoying their right to freedom of speech! Its ludicrous to think it’s okay to judge those who fight for us to keep that right, Then turn around and scoff at those who put their lives on the line to keep it there. Then to add insult to injury, balk when military personnel with limbs maimed or missing, do whatever it takes, to make an honest living to support their families. All this, while touting the praises of a government so corrupt, they make what this young man did, look like childs play. All of them, regardless of their Parties. Only thing different about any of them, is their preference of flavors. I mean it’s always fight, but anyone willing to be honest, knows that’s the truth, Plain and simple
    Clearly, in this case neither the judge, nor the members of this “jury” have ever watched a loved one come home from serving their country, (that means serving you, too), be stomped on, stepped over and destroyed systematically by the very Country, they gave their lives and limbs for. If his honor has such high expectations, of one man, why not use that passion & influence to rally a fight for what’s right & right some bureaucratic wrongs and fix just even one broken system, the VA instead of judging and justifying & ignoring a far larger scale of illegal and immoral behavior. Heck if even just one judge, and a few from the endless supply of judgemental, negative Nancy’s would band together in solidarity, imagine the powerful effect they could have, All the changes they could affect. If nothing else it’d show our Vets and active service members appreciation & respect for the sacrifices made.

  4. Walter,
    Jan6 was the most serious threat to the stability of this representative democratic republic since the civil war.

    The phrase Witch hunt directly points to you listening to the rhetoric of very biased politicians (white thugs) and media, likely fox and oan.
    You are severely misinformed.

    The vast majority of the US population knows Jan6 was a serious threat that must be addressed.
    You are solidly in the minority along with the rest of the trump sycophants.
    He lost, get over it.
    His mob didn’t stop the certification of the legal election results.

    All claims of actual election tampering on a widespread basis were laughable at best and totally unsupported…61 cases thrown straight out of court for horrible lacks of evidence and spurious unsupported claims.

    Just a bunch of whiny bad losers.

    The vast majority (>93%) of all BLM protests nationwide were completely peaceful.
    Not all but a very large portion that weren’t peaceful were because of white nationalist agent provocateurs and other opportunistic & violent offenders that were not associated with protesters but only taking advantage of the scene.
    Not 1 act of arson was part of any BLM action.
    Was done by opportunistic criminals and political provocateurs.

    1 police station was burned…1, no more. Not done by BLM activists.
    Murders by BLM activists???
    Burned churches?? By BLM??
    Attempt to overthrow white house???
    Total bullshit LIES.
    Are you smoking meth/crack?
    Or just suckling on the qanon teet?
    The criminals that did that shit are sought after and being prosecuted.
    Many are white nationalists.

    You referring to all BLM protesters as ‘thugs’ is a racist trope long used to discredit and marginalize the protests of very real abuse happening in many areas of the US.

    Seems that you start with an opinion and look for details to support that opinion rather than start with all available data & facts to come to an INFORMED opinion.

    Common and oft repeated mistakes of the misinformed and scared angry white man.

    Fox and oan “news” are not telling you the facts.
    You are getting snowed by predators and are deeply misinformed.

    Thus making you a tool of manipulation for the real predators that do not want an informed populace because it threatens their status quo.

    Divide and conquer…oldest trick in the book and you are falling for it, hook, line, sinker.

    Your ignorance, sadly, sounds willful and intentional.

    Spelling is tricky on a phone. If that’s your best method for marginalizing my fact and data based stance then facts and data are likely not your forte anyway.


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Educator🔸Reporter for KMUD/ Redheaded Blackbelt/Founder of Cold Case Mendocino🔹Local News Junkie

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