December 21, 2006

Seven Men Face Federal Charges Involving Illegal Firearms Sales At Rutledge Flea Market

St. Louis, MO - United States Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway and Michael Boxler, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced the indictment of seven individuals for federal firearms criminal violations arising from an ATF undercover operation that occurred in Knox County, Missouri. These individuals were generally indicted for dealing in firearms without a license or for failing to record firearms sales, out of what is known as the Rutledge, Missouri Flea Market.

The sale of firearms by unlicensed dealers who fail to record the buyer information hampers or impedes law enforcements ability to trace firearms used in violent crimes, said Hanaway. More than one thousand weapons have already been seized. That means one thousand fewer guns that will be illegally sold.

Boxler said, ATF will vigorously enforce the federal firearms laws against those who violate them.

As part of the investigation, a series of federal search warrants in Southern Iowa and the Eastern District of Missouri were executed resulting in the seizure of substantial weapons from a number of the individuals indicted. In one instance, more than 600 weapons were seized, in another instance, approximately 487, and, in another, approximately 150. In all instances, forfeiture proceedings have been initiated by civil suit in Southern Iowa as to Mr. Lemly or administrative forfeitures as to all other individuals.

The crime of dealing in firearms without a federal firearms license carries a maximum five year sentence of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

The following individuals have been indicted:

Ronald Harvey of New London;

Vaughn Fogle of Memphis;

Daniel Brashers of Ferguson;

Donald Webb of Creston, IA;

Ivan Lemley of West Point, IA;

James Milburn of Powersville; and

Larry McCracken, of Ewing.

Brashers was also indicted for possessing a firearm with a silencer on the barrel without registering the firearm. If convicted of that charge, he faces a maximum of ten years and/or a fine of $250,000.

Webb was also indicted for being a felon in possession of firearms. That charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

Harvey was also indicted for selling firearms to a convicted felon, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.

Lemley, although a licensed firearms dealer, allegedly sold weapons to an undercover agent, and did not have the appropriate paperwork filled out when firearms were sold. That crime carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.

This investigation began with complaints of this illegal activity by local law enforcement and, in particular, the Missouri State Highway Patrol who assisted ATF in the investigation.

The charges set forth in an investigation are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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