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Man arrested by FBI after buying fully automatic AR-15 rifle at Brockton mall

A Stoughton man who admitted cutting the brake lines of an ex-girlfriend’s car was arrested in Brockton Wednesday with a fully automatic AR-15 rifle, a .40-caliber Glock pistol, and 345 rounds of ammunition after a lengthy investigation by a Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to federal court records.

Michael R. Moura 27, was arrested in the parking lot of the Westgate Mall after the last of several meetings with undercover law enforcement officers based in the FBI’s Boston office, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Jay M. Lynch.

He appeared in federal court in Boston and was ordered held until a detention hearing on May 3.


During a series of encounters by telephone and text and in person, Moura allegedly interacted with four different undercover officers, starting in May 2020 when he asked one for help obtaining a firearm illegally.

Moura was not eligible under state law to possess a gun legally after he pleaded guilty to 34 counts of violating a harassment prevention order in Winchendon District Court last April. A woman obtained the order after Moura, using an alias, threatened to rape and murder her and cut the brake lines on her car while she was attending a concert in Worcester, Lynch wrote.

Moura was ordered to serve 166 days behind bars. One month later, he made contact with an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a gun dealer. Moura said he wanted to buy a gun when he got out of prison, and once released he shuttled $260,000 in counterfeit money provided by the FBI from Greater Boston to New York and Rhode Island, Lynch wrote.

The undercover law enforcement officer posing as a gun dealer offered to sell Moura a Glock pistol and an AR-15, according to the FBI.

During negotiations over the price for the rifle, which is available only in semi-automatic capability on the civilian market, Moura enthusiastically agreed to buy a version capable of firing rounds without halt until the weapon’s magazine is exhausted, the FBI alleged.


“I’ll do you one for $600,” the undercover law enforcement officer texted with the asking price for an AR-15 he claimed to have obtained from a source in Virginia, according to court records.

“Sounds good,” Moura allegedly replied.

“On the AR, do you want it to go pew pew pew. Or BRRRRRRT,” the agent texted.

“the 15? Brrrrrt,” Moura allegedly replied. “whatever sounds better lol.”

Moura was also told the AR-15 would be ready to “full rock and roll” and was told a second time the weapon would generate a “BRRRRTTTT” sound when fired as it was fully automatic, Lynch wrote.

“Moura showed he understood the officer’s question and wanted a fully automatic weapon,” Lynch wrote.

The sale was arranged to take place Wednesday morning at the shopping mall. Moura allegedly got into an undercover agent’s car and was shown both the Glock and the AR-15. He was also shown the switch to make the rifle fully automatic, Lynch wrote.

Both weapons were stashed in a black hockey equipment bag that Moura put in his car before returning to the undercover agent’s vehicle so he could withdraw cash from a nearby ATM, Lynch wrote. During the ride, Moura allegedly outlined his reasons for buying the weapons and the hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

He allegedly told the undercover agent that he was “ ‘trying to stockpile as much as I can because with this [expletive] administration you don’t know what the [expletive] is going to happen. I don’t want to be on a list, you know what I mean, because when they try and confiscate guns, like, it’s all those people.’ ”


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.