D.A. Bragg: Supporter of Extremist Group Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Manufacturing “Ghost Guns” in East Village Apartment

February 1, 2022

Investigators Recovered Two 9-Millimeter Ghost Guns, 11 High-Capacity Magazines, Ammunition, Kevlar Body Armor, and Shirt Reading “Kill Cops”
Text Messages Revealed Defendant’s Support of Extremist Group “Boogaloo Boys”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the sentencing of KURT THERKELSEN, 40, to four years in prison with two years of post-release supervision. THERKELSEN manufactured two operable, untraceable “ghost guns” in the East Village using component parts he ordered online and possessed high capacity magazines. On December 16, 2021, THERKELSEN plead guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.

“The internet provides a simple workaround to important gun tracing measures: with a few clicks, you can purchase the components for untraceable firearms, and have them delivered to your doorstep,” said District Attorney Bragg. “I thank the career prosecutors in the DA’s Office and our partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the NYPD for ensuring this was stopped before his homemade weapons could injure or kill anyone.”

“Combatting gun violence in our City is my top priority as District Attorney and ceasing the flow of ghost guns is a crucial piece of that puzzle. Last week, I was proud to appoint Peter Pope as my Office’s first ever Executive Assistant D.A. for Gun Violence Prevention. We will tackle gun violence on all fronts to restore much-needed safety in our communities.”  

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, on December 15, 2020, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and NYPD executed a search warrant of an Airbnb where THERKELSEN was living on First Avenue in the East Village. The search warrant recovered two 9- millimeter pistols with Polymer80 frames – neither of which were marked with a serial number – as well as 11 high capacity magazines, four additional frames and other gun parts, ammunition, and tools for assembly. Investigators also recovered Kevlar body armor and a shirt that said “Kill Cops.” Further investigation uncovered text messages showing the defendant’s support of the “Boogaloo Boys” an extremist group.  

Investigators determined that the pistols were operable weapons that were assembled from component metal and polymer parts ordered online from sellers on eBay and other online retailers from various states.  

Assistant D.A. Eun-Ha Kim of the Counterterrorism Program handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. David Stuart (Counterterrorism Program Coordinator), Assistant D.A. Michael Ohm (Deputy Bureau Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Assistant D.A. Judy Salwen (Principal Deputy Bureau Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Assistant D.A. Jodie Kane (Chief of the Rackets Bureau) and Executive Assistant D.A. Christopher Conroy (Chief of the Investigation Division). Counterterrorism Supervising Analyst Ryan Rittenberg, Investigative Analyst Morgan Spencer, former Counterterrorism Analyst Dana Simcox, and former Trial Preparation Assistant Isabel Gutenplan also assisted with the investigation.

D.A. Bragg thanked the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force – which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, the NYPD, and over 50 other federal, state, and local agencies – especially Special Agent Erica Dobin and Detective Miguel Soto; and the Major Case Field Intelligence Team of the NYPD, especially Detective Victor Cardona.

Defendant Information:


New York, NY


  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count


  • 4 years in state prison
  • 2 years of post-release supervision