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Posted: 3/31/2006 9:01:24 AM EDT
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www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/114380033566970.xml&coll=1
2 area men plead guilty to sale of guns without license at flea markets
Undercover agents make arrests, seize arms used in crime
Friday, March 31, 2006
From staff reports
Huntsville Times
BIRMINGHAM - Two Northeast Alabama men face lengthy prison sentences after pleading guilty Wednesday in federal court to selling guns without a license at two local flea markets.

James Edward Hancock, 63, of Dutton and Hixon Eugene Padgett, 73, of Fyffe, were arrested in January as part of a major firearms investigation called Operation Flea Collar, said Alice Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

Martin said in a news release Wednesday that Hancock pleaded guilty to selling 22 guns without a license to undercover agents between March 30, 2003, and Oct. 31, 2004, selling guns to an out-of-state resident and failing to register a weapon.


Martin said Padgett pleaded guilty to selling 19 guns without a license to undercover agents between June 27, 2004 and Nov. 6, 2004.

Hancock faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count, she said. He also faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000 for possessing and transferring a non-registered gun.

Martin said both men were selling the guns at the Taco-Bet Flea Market near Dutton and the Trade Day Flea Market in Collinsville.

During a search of Hancock's home, federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found six guns that had been used in crimes in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Birmingham and Detroit.

At Padgett's home, agents found 119 guns, including two that had been reported stolen and one with a serial number that had been scratched out.

"Flea markets can be a source of illegal crime guns," Martin said. "Operation Flea Collar is a clear demonstration of time and dedication to stopping the illegal sale of firearms."
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:03:17 AM EDT
dumbasses. it's JBThuggery for sure, but its guys like these that make the gov't tighten the screws on LEGAL dealers too
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:08:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 9:11:26 AM EDT by SgtSwat]
HEY BAMA SHOOTER , ain't this yer stompin ground?

According to the artical, they needed to be hung out to dry.

and America's post whore has a good point too, that does tend to tighten the screws on the good guys.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:13:07 AM EDT
Feel sorry for the old geezers, but IMO they were taking "private sales" to the extreme it seems.

Not too bright......

Mike
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:17:13 AM EDT
OMG... my first gun was purchased at a flea market! I had no idea I was supporting hardened criminals!

All kidding aside though, these guys sound like they should have known damned well they were operating outside the law. Selling one or two guns on occasion is one thing, but it sounds like these guys were big time sellers and were obviously skirting the laws regarding being a dealer.

Not that I agree with the laws, but these guys were dumbasses....
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:30:22 AM EDT
6 guns used in previous crimes is one heck of a coincidence.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:33:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By the_great_snag:
OMG... my first gun was purchased at a flea market! I had no idea I was supporting hardened criminals!

All kidding aside though, these guys sound like they should have known damned well they were operating outside the law. Selling one or two guns on occasion is one thing, but it sounds like these guys were big time sellers and were obviously skirting the laws regarding being a dealer.

Not that I agree with the laws, but these guys were dumbasses....



You miss the entire "Catch-22" of the situation. If these gentlemen had applied to the BATF for a license they would have been denied because they didn't have a storefront. Why? Because the BATF has determined you can't be in the business of selling guns without a storefront. If that's the case, these gentlemen could not have been in the business of selling guns.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:33:43 AM EDT
Two Morons!
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:35:34 AM EDT
They did an undercover report on the news here at a local flea market. We're not talking about uncle Billy selling his old single-shot shot gun, we're talking guys with a table full of guns, many NIB, selling to whoever they like, no 4473 etc. Cash & carry, no waiting. Sorry, one or two guns, no big deal. These guys were dealing without a license, they got what they deserved.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:41:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
Two Morons!


Dumbasses! on first glance, 19 guns in a year and a half is no big deal, but these guys were clearly moving a lot of weapons
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:40:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SgtSwat:
HEY BAMA SHOOTER , ain't this yer stompin ground?

According to the artical, they needed to be hung out to dry.

and America's post whore has a good point too, that does tend to tighten the screws on the good guys.



That's north of me. But this was a lot bigger operation than just those two guys, They arreseted something like 15-20 people on this deal from GA, TN and AL.

These guys were dealing guns without a liscense. Plain and simple.
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