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Georgia man accused of possessing handgun illegally converted to fully automatic

Benjamin Bowie was arrested in November on gun and charge charges. Now he's facing an additional gun charge after results from the FDLE lab.

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — Editor's Note: The video above is from a previous story dated Oct. 19, 2021.

A Georgia man arrested during a Novemeber traffic stop in Flagler County is facing an additional firearm charge, Flagler County Sheriff's Office said.

According to the sheriff's office, deputies stopped Benjamin Jacob Bowie, 23, on Belle Terre for a traffic violation concerning his tail light.

The FCSO reported in November that Bowie appeared to be nervous and looked to be reaching to the floorboard. Deputies also smelled what they believed to be marijuana and told Bowie to exit the vehicle.

According to the FCSO, Bowie tried to push a deputy to gain access to his vehicle and was soon handcuffed and placed into the patrol vehicle.

While searching the vehicle, deputies found four firearms, magazines, ammunition, drugs and two masks, according to the sheriff's office. One of the firearms was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab as deputies believed it had been altered illegally.

Credit: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

Deputies also found out that Bowie had an active warrant against him in Pierce County, Georgia for grand theft auto. He had also recently been arrested in Jacksonvilel fore resisting arrest and possession of marijuana. 

Bowie has prior convictions of aggravated assault and aggravated cruelty to animals.

The sheriff's office charged Bowie with carrying a concealed firearm, resisting officer without violence, and possession of cannabis under 20 grams. 

On Dec. 17, the lab concluded that a Glock 17, a semi-automatic handgun, had been converted to be fully automatic, which is against state and federal gun regulations, according to the FCSO.

The sheriff's office added the additional charge of possession of short barreled firearm.

“Traffic stops are never ‘routine’ and this case proves it,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Bowie was a wanted fugitive from Georgia armed with a gun he had converted to a machine gun. Our deputies did a phenomenal job handling this situation that could have turned deadly very quickly.” 

Bowie is incarcerated at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility without bond on the following charge.

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