A Pennsylvania gun dealer accused of illegal sales of firearms and other serious federal crimes is fighting those allegations. In doing so, he and his legal team hope to avoid the punitive measures that would accompany a conviction on those charges. In a recent filing, the man took issue with evidence used within the case and with statements made by the prosecution.
The charges stem from the sale of firearms to several Lake County Sheriff's Officers. Those three men were also charged in the matter, and all three pleaded guilty to making false representations that the purchases of the guns were made under the authority of the Sheriff's Office. In reality, the three men were buying more than 70 machine guns and laser sites for the purpose of breaking down the guns and selling the components for their own personal gain.
The gun dealer has been indicted on charges related to the sale of firearms, bribery, conspiracy and making false statements to federal authorities. The prosecutor in the case has made statements of concern that the guns that were sold could end up being used by gang members or extremists. In the recent filing, the gun dealer asserts that such statements are speculative in nature and have no bearing on the matter before the court. He also expressed concern that such statements could influence the jury, even though they are not based in fact.
As the case moves forward, additional information may become available concerning how much the gun dealer knew about how those weapons were being used and for whom they were purchased. There is no word on how the court responded to the claim that inflammatory statements could prejudice the jury. However, if the defense team can ultimately convince the jury that the Pennsylvania gun dealer was under the impression that the weapons were being purchased for use by the Lake County Sheriff's Department for official use, he may be able to avoid conviction on those charges.
Source: nwitimes.com, "Gun dealer implicated in Lake Co. Sheriff's officers' case scoffs at terrorist claim", Jim Masters, Sept. 27, 2015