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Contraband
03/03/2011

International gun trafficker pleads guilty

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Steven Neal Greenoe, 37, of Raleigh, N.C., pled guilty Wednesday in federal court to exporting firearms from the United States without a license and traveling in foreign commerce to deal in firearms without a license, following an international investigation into illegal firearms trafficking and smuggling by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.

"Stopping the illegal export of weapons is important to the United States and to the countries those weapons are destined for," said Brock Nicholson, acting special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta. "By stopping them here, we may be preventing crimes from occurring there."

On Feb. 2, Greenoe was charged by superseding indictment, which reported that Greenoe had obtained pistol purchase permits and a concealed weapons permit, completed the Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record required to purchase firearms, and purchased firearms.

After purchasing the firearms, Greenoe took the firearms apart and disguised the firearms as machining engineering samples and inert firearms and concealed them in his checked luggage. On nine occasions, from Feb. 22, 2010, to July 25, 2010, Greenoe concealed a total of 63 pistols in his checked luggage and traveled from Raleigh to the United Kingdom.

"I will not tolerate the violation of our gun laws and the victimization of the British people," stated U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding "We are working hard to bring justice to this vile criminal conduct. This plea is an important step forward. We will continue to work with our great British allies to prosecute and punish these illegal activities."

"ATF seeks to neutralize the illicit movement of firearms domestically and in this case internationally," according to ATF Special Agent in Charge Zebedee T. Graham, "We will continue to utilize our available resources and partnership with other agencies in order to prevent firearms from entering into the hands of criminals."

At sentencing, which is set for June 14, Greenoe faces up to 20 years' imprisonment for the charge of exporting the firearms and up to 10 years' imprisonment for the charge of traveling in foreign commerce to deal in firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Jackson represented the government in this case.