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Posted: 12/16/2003 9:36:55 AM EDT
cbs2.com/national/FirearmsRaid-aa/resources_news_html

Federal agents raid Missouri gun dealers; reason for search unclear
Tuesday December 16, 2003
By CONNIE FARROW
Associated Press Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) Federal authorities equipped with sealed search warrants raided three gun dealers early Tuesday in Springfield, looking for evidence of firearms violations.

The raids were the culmination of a three-year investigation, said Larry Scott, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He would not say what agents were looking for or whether anyone was taken into custody.

``I can tell you it's federal firearms violations,'' Scott said.

Agents were seen carrying what appeared to be weapons from two businesses, Gunsmoke Gun & Pawn and a dealer specializing in Wesley Richards rifles. The two businesses are owned by the same person, he said.

A third dealer, Gunsmoke Gun and Gold Exchange, also was raided, he said. It is owned by a second person.

Scott would not identify the owners of the three businesses.

Scott said about 100 agents were involved, including state and local police, the ATF and the Internal Revenue Service.

He said he didn't expect charges to be announced Tuesday.

Businesses in Marshfield and another in Mountain Grove also were raided Tuesday for alleged federal firearms violations, but Scott said those were the result of a separate investigation.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 9:47:33 AM EDT
Just another annual inspection. [:D]
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 9:50:28 AM EDT
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Ayn Rand
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 9:51:07 AM EDT
A hundred agents??? For what??? It takes a hundred agents to review a few 4473s or undercover sting??? Am I missing something??? I've fallen and I can't get up.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 9:56:14 AM EDT
Sounds like the middle of Unintended Consequences.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:11:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Jarhead_22: Sounds like the middle of Unintended Consequences.
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That is the first thing I thought of too...[:|]
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:13:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:14:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Originally Posted By Jarhead_22: Sounds like the middle of Unintended Consequences.
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That is the first thing I thought of too...[:|]
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damn you guys, I havent gotten to that part yet [:D]
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:24:51 AM EDT
shit... I've bought guns from both of the gunsmokes (different owners). NONE of this has hit the local news yet today. I bought my first .45 from one of the guys and just got a G26 thru them too. I hope they have all their shit together. Good thing I got rid of all my guns...[:D]
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:29:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By slacko: shit... I've bought guns from both of the gunsmokes (different owners). NONE of this has hit the local news yet today. I bought my first .45 from one of the guys and just got a G26 thru them too. I hope they have all their shit together. Good thing I got rid of all my guns...[:D]
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Was that in the boating accident? or was that when the hunting shack burned down? [:D]
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:35:37 AM EDT
Probably selling unregistered sawed off Wesley Richards drillings to gang bangers.[whacko]
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:43:55 AM EDT
Well whatever the offense, I'm sure we all feel so much safer. [rolleyes] Sly
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 11:12:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 11:13:54 AM EDT by pale_pony]
Originally Posted By photoman:
Originally Posted By slacko: shit... I've bought guns from both of the gunsmokes (different owners). NONE of this has hit the local news yet today. I bought my first .45 from one of the guys and just got a G26 thru them too. I hope they have all their shit together. Good thing I got rid of all my guns...[:D]
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Was that in the boating accident? or was that when the hunting shack burned down? [:D]
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Naw, it was that damned Republican economy. You know those damned conservatives took a great economy and flushed it straight down the water-conserving 1.7 liter toilet! Wouldn't 'cha know it, lost my "McJob" and had to hock [b]every[/b] damn gun and all my reloading equipment down to the last bullet. Boy, I sure hope Hitlery (oops, I meant Hillary) gets elected in 2008 and straightens out this damn mess. Have a nice day Mr. JBT! [:D] edited to add: Before 'ya go, wanna come see my hogs?
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 11:16:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CMMG: There has to be something to this story. 100 agents/officers is a big effort. Being a dealer from MO, I've heard some rumers about certain dealers from Spfd. I have some friends in the city & county gov't there, I'll see if I can find out something from them. Jeff
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If ya get any new info please pass it along, as I searched some of the larger newspapers in Missouri, I didn't see any mention of this raid, and this was only reported in the L.A. KCBS(ch2) website. Anybody know what a Wesley Richards rifle is? The close as I can get to it is the actor Wesley Snipes.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 11:18:09 AM EDT
Well, I'll make stab at the charges. 1. Selling (used)guns off the books. 2. Sting operation, straw purchases by felons. 3. Non-compliance with zoning laws. I'd be willing to bet that they were selling (multiple handgun purchase)used, trade-in, pawned guns off the books to persons trafficing firearms up north to NY. BATF likely did traces on guns used in crimes and found a significant number came from these locations then set them up for a sting. Don't like to hear about this kind of stuff but frankly, if you follow the law as a dealer, and it isn't that difficult, BATF has no reason to kick in your door. FFL/SOT
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 11:23:07 AM EDT
Anybody know what a Wesley Richards rifle is? The close as I can get to it is the actor Wesley Snipes.
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High end big bore rifles. The kind used by bg game hunters in Africa.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 12:14:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CS223: ...I'd be willing to bet that they were selling ... guns off the books to persons trafficing firearms up north to NY. ...
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Kinda my guess, too. I really doubt this guy simply sold somebody a post-ban AR with a bayonet lug!! [:D] Still, more info is needed.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 12:35:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Jarhead_22: Sounds like the middle of Unintended Consequences.
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"...things keep happening in Missouri"
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 12:50:07 PM EDT
Notice they included the IRS in their raid. Whoever said the IRS agents didn't need their own guns? I bet its a tax problem -- either with the BATFE or the IRS, though the trafficking wouldn't be a huge shock either.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:15:09 PM EDT
100 agents. Ooooohkay.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:26:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 6:39:59 PM EDT by AeroE]
I have a cousin in Mtn. Grove that owns a pawn shop. There's also a feller that owns a pawnshop with stores in Mtn. Grove and Marshfield - I'll ask my dad if it was those stores. (Dang it, he has good prices on AR magazines ($7 each)).
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:33:29 PM EDT
I smell something in the air.... Oh, it's probably nothing. My bad. Must've been a passing burrito.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:54:39 PM EDT
I guessed correctly, here's a link - [url]http://www.ky3.com/newsdetailed.asp?id=5592[/url] Crafty little devil, wasn't he?
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:16:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE: I guessed correctly, here's a link - [url]http://www.ky3.com/newsdetailed.asp?id=5592[/url] Crafty little devil, wasn't he?
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Federal charges follow raids at gun shops 12/16/03 They are the culmination of a three-year investigation. By: Laurie Patton, KY3 News SPRINGFIELD -- Federal law officers were completing a long investigation of firearms violations when they led raids at three businesses on Tuesday morning. By the end of the day, U.S. attorneys had formally charged five people with connections to the businesses. Larry Scott, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said about 100 federal and local officers executed search warrants, which were the result of a three-year investigation. The raids were at Gunsmoke Gun and Pawn, 4305 W. Chestnut Expressway, a Westley Richards rifle dealership, 4319 W. Chestnut, and Gunsmoke Guns and Gold Exchange, 1828 E. Division St. Though the names of two of the businesses are similar, the companies have separate owners. Gunsmoke Gun and Gold Exchange is licensed to Cathleen Schlichting. She and her husband, Steven Schlichting, are charged with aiding and abetting illegal sale and delivery of firearms. In an interview on Tuesday night, Cathleen Schlichting said she believes federal agents were looking for evidence against the owner of a similar business with a different name that was at the same location until she opened her business about two years ago. She says she believes she and her husband have done nothing wrong. According to court records, a BATFE agent accused John Robert “Bob” Francis of being “the true manager of the Westley Richards Agency and also participates in the management of Gunsmoke Gun and Pawn. In doing so, Bob Francis possesses all the firearms in the inventory of both businesses and frequently handles and controls the firearms.” Francis can't legally sell firearms, or work in a business that sells firearms, because he pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to deal firearms without a license. In the court records, the BATFE agent says, between September 2002 and this month, a confidential informant met or talked with Bob Francis about 30 times (and recorded at least 26 of the meetings) about gun sales and the operations of the businesses on Chestnut. Bob Francis is charged with the illegal sale of firearms. City business records show Gunsmoke Gun and Pawn and the Westley Richards dealership are licensed to Bob Francis' wife, Nancy Francis. Nancy Francis also has two federal firearms licenses for the two businesses. In his affidavit, the BATFE agent said, “Nancy Francis was warned in writing and in person that Bob Francis could not be in control, that is, in possession, of any firearms. Bob Francis was only allowed to work in the non-firearms part of the pawn business and the firearms were to be locked in a manner inaccessible to Bob Francis.” Nancy Francis and Barton Westerman, a son of Nancy Francis and the official manager of Gunsmoke Gun and Pawn, are charged with aiding and abetting Bob Francis in the illegal sale of firearms. While federal agents were cataloging and confiscating guns at the businesses on Chestnut, they also confiscated seven computers. Defense Attorney Kyle Domann of Springfield showed up mid-morning to find out what was going on inside the store. "This morning, I was hired by the family to come over and investigate what was taking place over here," said Domann. Federal agents briefed Domann on what was happening. "All indications are what they're doing is assembling all the firearms that are here at the location except the ones that are on consignment and taking those in to evidence," said Domann. "This is a long term investigation with ATF and it consists of violations of the federal firearms laws," said Scott. "We're present on site serving a search warrant, actually two search warrants." Even though the two Gunsmoke businesses have different owners, ATF agents believe the businesses are connected. Cathleen Schlichting denies that and says she has only once met the owner of the businesses on Chestnut. The IRS was involved in the raids as well as the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center in Springfield. ---- Federal agents also raided gun shops in Marshfield and Mountain Grove on Tuesday. Both go by the name of Gator’s Pawn. Those raids followed a separate investigation than the one that led to the raids in Springfield. After the raids, U.S. attorneys charged William Earl Gates with operating the shop in Marshfield shop with an expired license. The license expired on Sept. 1, 2003. Gates also runs the shop in Mountain Grove but it has a current license. A BATFE agent says Gates ordered employees at the shop in Marshfield to fax data about gun sales and pawn transactions to the shop in Mountain Grove, where they were recorded as having been done at that shop. The agent recorded at least one conversation between a customer and Gates at the shop in Marshfield. An undercover agent also purchased a shotgun from Gates in Marshfield. ---- The Associate Press contributed to this report.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:40:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 7:41:46 PM EDT by ARndog]
So basically the guy was selling guns w/o a permit from the ATF, they didn't like that so they charged him with it and he pleaded guilty to the charges. After a couple years, he has his wife get all the proper permits and he proceeds to start selling guns again. Once again the ATF doesn't like this so they come in with 100 agents to stomp his ass for defying their orders. Sounds like the ATF is trying to prove to the world that they should be taken seriously--or else.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 8:32:28 PM EDT
This really sucks.I was in Gunsmoke yesteday talking to Bart about buying a Berretta 92G.I bought my first Black rifle from him and just bought a M1A from him a month ago.I have been buying rifles/pistols from him for years.Hate to see that they snagged the computers because now they have a list of what I own or owned till that damn boating accident.LOL!!Guess they also got the HK G3,HK91S and the PreBan AR he had on the shelf.I dont think it has anything to do with selling off the books or doing straw purchases.Bart has allways been by the book.I dont know Bob at all but I do know Bart.I hope ypu guys will keep Bart and his wife in your prayers.They have several young children.He really is a great guy and a fellow Black Rifle owner. Hope it all turns out OK for him.I also stopped by the other Gunsmoke and talked to the guys in there for awhile yesteday before heading home.Really just trips me out I tell ya.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 11:04:11 PM EDT
45b10 and I are 30 mins from the shops mentioned. as 45b10 says Bart has always been by the book, (at least as far as sales etc etc go) I dont know "bob" either so have no opinion there. His major selling points were his guns that were bought from "police auctions". Good guns at prices everyman could afford, I will sorely miss his sales. For you praying folks, keep him and his family in yours. oh to the guy who asked what a westly richards rifle was: there those rifles that dont have price tags on them....If you have to ask how much it is, you cant afford it. Gee it is to bad that 45b10 was useing ALL my firearms when the boat went down. I miss them...
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 1:30:28 AM EDT
Scott said about 100 agents were involved, including state and local police, the ATF and the Internal Revenue Service.
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Someone explain why they needed a small army, and why the IRS was involved in this. Why weren't EPA, HUD, and Medicare agents also included? [rolleyes]
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