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Prosecutors say the men, one a Rocky Mount police officer, used straw buyers to acquire guns.
Friday, July 26, 2013
A Rocky Mount police officer and another man ran a criminal conspiracy to acquire guns through straw buyers in violation of federal firearms laws, prosecutors alleged this week.
Rocky Mount officer James Marion Slate, 25, and David Carson Haskins, 57, whose hometown was not released, are named in a grand jury indictment filed Thursday in U.S. District Court .
The felony indictment said the men acquired the guns to resell them at a profit.
Rocky Mount Police Chief David Cundiff confirmed Friday that Slate is a member of the force and said he was hired about 14 months ago. Cundiff said he had not seen the indictment or taken any action against Slate. The department would by policy suspend without pay an officer charged with a felony, he said.
The list of charges is heavier against Haskins, who faces 18 counts of making false statements to a licensed firearms dealer in connection with a firearms purchase. Each man is charged with conspiracy. The alleged conspiracy ran from late December 2012 to mid-February 2013, during which time the men recruited or tried to recruit other people to become straw buyers of guns, the indictment said.
Haskins provided “the purchase money for the firearms together with instruction as to what firearms the straw purchaser would buy,” received the guns the straw buyers bought and paid the straw buyers a fee, the indictment said.
The charges, to which prosecutors attached a list of 21 guns they want the men to forfeit, were announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia. The case is pending in the court’s Danville division.
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