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Details on the Colosimo Case

Before we were largely speculating.  Now we actually have some facts in the case. It seems Colosimo entered into a plea deal with prosecutors.  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.

2 Responses to “Details on the Colosimo Case”

  1. mobo says:

    The funny thing is that the editorial pages constantly scream about how difficult it is to prove intent in straw purchaser cases. It actually sounds like it’s really easy for the .gov to get the evidence they need to prosecute both straw purchasers and the FFLs who willingly/knowingly facilitate them.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    One of the reasons my wife and I both bought on the same day was to reduce the chance of tripping a “straw-purchase” sense on the guy behind the counter. We knew she would be asking me a lot of questions come the day. As it happened, she spent more time shopping than I did – the store had the exact model I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it; but they had several different pistols in the desired caliber for my wife (G17L and Walther P22 with the longer barrel if you care. Since carry is impossible in NJ anyway, the primary use would be slaughtering paper, with a secondary use of home defense. I’d heard good things about the .22 kits for the glock, and my wife has smaller hands, so the grip of the Walther was perfect for her. If, in the 5 years or so it’ll take, NJ gets “shall issue” I’ll just buy another gun or 2. )

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