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Posted: 8/13/2007 3:22:34 AM EDT
Gun show sting nets convicted felon
Coastal Empire | Intown | Local News
Megan Matteucci | Monday, August 13, 2007 at 12:30 am | (see enhanced version)

Chance Datts (Photo: Savannah Morning News)

Police seize gun, drugs from 19-year-old but show promoter said all his sales were legal.

In an effort to crack down on illegal firearms, police and federal agents spent the weekend conducting an undercover operation at a gun show at the Savannah Civic Center.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police won't talk about the operation, but police reports show it led to the arrest of a convicted felon.

Chance Lamont Datts, 19, was arrested on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a pistol without a permit and possession of marijuana.

Undercover agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with officers from SCMPD's Tactical Reaction And Prevention unit converged on the Civic Center for the two-day Eastman Gun Show. They were working in addition to uniformed patrol officers securing the show.

Saturday afternoon, the undercover officers noticed three men acting suspicious in the Civic Center parking lot, according to a police report.

Officers followed the men as they climbed into a Pontiac Grand Prix and drove off.

Officers stopped the car at Habersham and Liberty streets for having windows tinted too darkly.

That's when they spotted Datts in the backseat attempting to cover the seat pocket, the report states.

Officers interviewed Datts and learned he was on probation for a felony.

They then searched the pocket Datts was covering and found a pistol, according to the report. It is unclear if the pistol was purchased at the gun show.

Officers also found some marijuana wrapped in a $20 bill inside Datts' pocket, the report states.

Datts told officers he met his two friends at the Civic Center and attended the gun show.

Datts' two companions were questioned and released.

Secure sales

Anyone who buys a firearm at the gun show is required to show a picture identification card and undergo a background check.

"These are legitimate gun dealers. You got to follow the same rules that you do in a gun shop," said Matt Eastman, who runs the gun show. "People don't come to gun shows to buy guns to commit crimes."

The gun show does not check identification at the front door. Unless a convicted felon attempts to buy a gun, there is no security barring them from attending the show.

Eastman said he did not know about any police operation or arrests.

"You've been watching too much NBC. That stuff doesn't happen here," Eastman said.

Hundreds of handguns, rifles, automatic weapons and knives are sold at the Eastman shows, which are frequently held at the Civic Center.

In 1994, the city banned gun shows from the Civic Center. The city lifted the ban 11 months later after promoters sued the city of Tampa for $65,000 after officials prohibited gun shows at its civic center.

The Eastman Gun Show is scheduled to return to Savannah in October.

More guns on streets

Police say they are targeting all illegal firearms - regardless of how and where they are obtained.

Last month, SCMPD and CrimeStoppers launched a program offering cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to a seizure of illegal guns. The anonymous tip program focuses on getting guns out of the hands of convicted felons and minors, police said.

The firearms initiative also is an expansion of the police department's 2007 strategy of targeting the "10 percenters" - the most violent of felons. Police attribute a large chunk of violent crime to guns being in the wrong hands.

From Jan. 1 to July 5, 2007, police seized 371 firearms - including assault rifles, handguns, rifles and sawed-off shotguns. That's up 16 percent from last year, according to Wilson.

Police also are investigating several Savannah gangs that have been linked to gun trafficking. The Waters Avenue Crew and the Paradise Park Clique have been tied to as many as 144 guns stolen in pawn shop burglaries in Savannah and in Eastman, Ga., police said.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:30:16 AM EDT
Man, are we screwed, now this kind of crap reporting is going on in GA too
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:37:48 AM EDT
A butterfly flapped it's wings, therefore the gun show is responsible.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:39:57 AM EDT
Windows tinted too dark,OMG
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:41:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 8:34:11 AM EDT by JIMBEAM]
Seems like a lot of work to catch one bg.

Gunshows are bad because several thousand people attented legally and one bad guy did something illegal.

Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:30:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CWS1911:
Windows tinted too dark,OMG


That and I bet his tailights were broken (one or the other would start blinking every time he turned )
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:31:07 AM EDT
Where's the "sting" part? Anyway, a convicted felon got poppped for having a gun. Righteous bust. Not like ATF was there selling post '86 DIAS's or silcener parts
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:34:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
Where's the "sting" part? Anyway, a convicted felon got poppped for having a gun. Righteous bust. Not like ATF was there selling post '86 DIAS's or silcener parts


+1. Are convicted felons forbidden from attending beef jerky & beanie baby shows now?

Purchasing, possessing and handling yes. Looking? Not AFAIK.

Did he buy it there?


It is unclear if the pistol was purchased at the gun show.


Hmm. Nice vagarity.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:43:54 AM EDT
Sounds like a buy in the parking lot. "3 men acting suspiciously".
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:34:59 AM EDT
What are illegal guns? I mean other then unregistered NFA items. What makes a firearm an illegal firearm?
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:30:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TGMoore:
What are illegal guns? I mean other then unregistered NFA items. What makes a firearm an illegal firearm?


Removing the serial number is one way to make a firearm itself illegal.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:32:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 8:32:27 AM EDT by Maxwell71]
If they cross the boarder without paper work.

(Didnt know how true that was until I read it lol)


Felons can not have one so they arrest the gun making it illegal

19 year old felon, he will regret it when he reaches 30
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:39:19 AM EDT
oh no he had some pot



Glad the got the gun out of a felons hands though
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:41:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:43:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
Where's the "sting" part? Anyway, a convicted felon got poppped for having a gun. Righteous bust. Not like ATF was there selling Shoe Laces


there.. fixed it for you..
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 8:55:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 8:55:29 AM EDT by bullyforyou]


so, let's see...


Undercover agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with officers from SCMPD's Tactical Reaction And Prevention unit...


worked


...the weekend conducting an undercover operation at a gun show...


and they netted one felon.

wow. i'm impressed.


Link Posted: 8/13/2007 9:27:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bullyforyou:

so, let's see...


Undercover agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with officers from SCMPD's Tactical Reaction And Prevention unit...


worked


...the weekend conducting an undercover operation at a gun show...


and they netted one felon.

wow. i'm impressed.





They could have gone to 'crack town' and arrested dozens but that is too dangerous.
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