United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced Wednesday afternoon that in El Paso, a federal jury convicted former Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent John Shipley of one count of dealing firearms without a license, four counts of causing a firearms dealer to maintain false records and one count of making a false statement to federal authorities.
Jurors found that Shipley engaged in the business of dealing in firearms from January 2005 until May 2008, while not being licensed as a federal firearms dealer.
Evidence presented during trial revealed that Shipley posted firearms for sale using an Internet Web site more than 200 times, including multiple postings for several firearms. During that three-and-a-half-year time period, Shipley also purchased at least 54 firearms, then sold at least 51 of those firearms for more than $118,000.
Jurors also found that on four occasions between July 2007 and May 2008, Shipley provided false information on ATF forms 4473 when purchasing firearms at local gun shops stating that he was the actual buyer, when in fact, he was not.
Finally, jurors found that on March 21, 2008, Shipley provided to federal authorities a document-a Dealers’ Firearms Record Book-which Shipley claimed was his only complete and accurate listing of the firearms he bought and sold, knowing that he had another Dealers’ Firearms Record Book which contained a more extensive descriptive and accurate list of firearms he bought and sold.
Shipley faces up to five years in federal prison per charge. Sentencing is scheduled for July 8, 2010, before Senior United States District Judge David Briones. Judge Briones is also considering a notice of criminal forfeiture whereby the Government is seeking the forfeiture of 17 firearms including two .50 caliber Barrett rifles; ammunition in various calibers including over 2,800 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition; one silencer; and, $7,340 in cash seized during the execution of a federal search warrant at the defendant’s residence on May 6, 2008.
This case was investigated by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives together with agents from the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Greg McDonald is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.