Indianapolis Man, Stephen King Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Trafficking 167 Firearms, Including Guns Tied to Crimes in Chicago
(STL.News) Stephen King, 66, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison yesterday, after pleading guilty to dealing firearms without a federal firearms license.
According to court documents, in August 2020, law enforcement officers in Chicago recovered firearms connected to crimes committed in Chicago. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agents in Chicago and Indianapolis discovered that the guns had been purchased by King in Indianapolis four days prior to being recovered by law enforcement officers in Chicago.
King’s email account revealed he had purchased and then unlawfully re-sold approximately 167 firearms between April 12, 2020, and September 2, 2020. King purchased 38 firearms from various Federal Firearm Licensees. King purchased the remaining 129 firearms online from private sellers using online platforms such as Armslist.com and Facebook. King illegally resold approximately 100 of these guns within three days of purchasing them. As of the date of his sentencing, 24 firearms bought and resold by King have been recovered by investigators in connection to crimes including drug trafficking, unlawful possession of a firearm, and firearms trafficking.
Evidence uncovered during the investigation showed that King obtained over $9,900 in profits from his illegal firearms sales. King is prohibited from engaging in the business of selling firearms and ammunition because he is not licensed to do so.
“Illegal trafficking of deadly weapons drives the violence plaguing our communities. Those who choose to knowingly and unlawfully introduce firearms into the underground gun economy will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “Combatting illegal gun trafficking is a top priority of the Department of Justice as we work to reduce violent crime throughout the country. Together with our federal, state, and local partners, my office is committed to stemming the tide of illegal guns pouring onto our streets and those of our neighbors.”
“The individuals who funnel firearms to prohibited persons directly contribute to violence in our community,” stated Timothy Canon, Acting Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our partners to stop the flow of firearms from legal to illegal commerce.”
The ATF investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Magnus-Stinson ordered that King be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 2 years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelsey Massa who prosecuted this case.
This case was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Chicago Gun Trafficking Strike Force. On July 22, 2021, the Department of Justice launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country. These gun trafficking strike forces are designed to ensure coordination across jurisdictions and help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms from source cities, through other communities, and into five key market regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento Region and Washington, D.C.
Additionally, this case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.