South Sound News

Pierce County man sentenced over firearms, explosives stash

Officials say that a man is facing charges over a stunt done in a video posted on YouTube last summer.

A Pierce County man was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for unlawful possession of a machinegun and other firearms.

Brady Lee Eltz, 39, was arrested in October 2023 at an auto glass business in Fife.

Eltz has been in custody since his federal arrest on October 31, 2023.

Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo described Eltz’s conduct as serious and alarming at the sentencing hearing.

The judge noted the dangerous nature of the weapons Eltz possessed and stated that Eltz’s motivation remains unclear.

According to court records, Fife police were called to an auto-glass repair shop on October 4, 2023. Workers at the shop reported seeing firearms in the trunk of a vehicle Eltz brought in for repair. They also noticed bullet holes in the vehicle.

When law enforcement arrived, they took Eltz into custody.

They searched the bathroom Eltz had used and found two 9 mm handguns. One of the handguns, a Glock, had an illegal “auto-sear” switch installed, making it a machine gun.

The Glock had been reported stolen. Both handguns had rounds chambered.

Fife police towed Eltz’s vehicle and obtained a search warrant. In the trunk, they found three more firearms, including a stolen rifle modified to fire automatically.

They also discovered a bag containing two improvised explosive devices.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office bomb technicians evaluated and made the devices safe. One device was an explosive simulator likely stolen from the U.S. Army.

The other was a cardboard tube filled with black flammable powder.

Further searches of the trunk revealed additional rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, latex face masks, body armor, gun sights, holsters, and other firearms accessories. Eltz also possessed GPS trackers, several knives, and a voice-changing device.

Prosecutors highlighted Eltz’s history of collecting similar items, including false credentials and disguises.

Previous incidents from 2007 and 2012 involved Eltz possessing various weapons, military gear, and law enforcement items.

All the guns, ammunition, and auto-sear devices from this case will be forfeited to the government.

Eltz is prohibited from possessing any firearms due to previous criminal convictions, including a 2013 conviction for unlawful possession of firearms, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives investigated the case with assistance from the Fife Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. The Washington State Patrol helped locate and arrest Eltz on a federal warrant after he posted bail and left state custody.

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