Before we were largely speculating. Â Now we actually have some facts in the case. It seems Colosimo entered into a plea deal with prosecutors. Â We also have this:
The government’s plea memorandum said that on Aug. 4, 2004, a straw purchaser identified only as “Person #1” received money from “H.B.” and a male known as “Shiz” to purchase four firearms on their behalf at Colosimo’s.
H.B. accompanied Person #1 into Colosimo’s and provided money to Person #1 in the presence of a store employee, who recorded that the purchase had been made by Person #1.
None of the four firearms has been recovered. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tomika Stevens told Savage that prosecutors did not know if the firearms had been used in any crimes.
After that purchase, ATF agents set up controlled buys using informants for the purchases of six firearms between Dec. 8, 2005, and April 18, 2007, the plea memo said.
Those guns were turned over to ATF agents immediately after the purchases, which were set up and monitored by the ATF, court documents said.
On one occasion a cooperating witness, A.P., identified himself as the buyer, but Person #2, the straw purchaser, filled out the paperwork, identifying himself as the buyer. A Colosimo’s employee recorded the transaction in the straw purchaser’s name.
On another occasion, a government informant and Person #3 entered Colosimo’s together. Court papers said that the informant had told a Colosimo’s employee that Person #3, the straw purchaser, was buying a handgun for the informant because the informant could not buy a gun. The Colosimo’s employee recorded the purchase in Person #3’s name, court papers said.
Now those are better facts, but they raise some questions:
- The person who recorded the straw transaction committed a federal crime. Was he or she prosecuted?
- If ATF was conducting these stings since 2005, why was Colosimo’s allowed to remain operating for four more years, despite ATF having evidence that his employees were allowing straw buys?
What’s described here is most definitely a crime committed on the part of the dealer’s agent. At best, he’s not training his employees correctly, and at worst not being careful about hiring scrupulous employees. I’m sorry I ever stood up for this guy. This looks like strong evidence, and I suspect the prosecution is actually going rather easy on the defendant in this case.