ABINGDON, Va.- Leon St. Clair, a Grundy, Virginia man who engaged in the business of selling firearms without a license, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to two years of probation, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division announced.
St. Clair, 78, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to one count of engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license.
According to court documents, the ATF began investigating flea markets in southwest Virginia in order to identify individuals who were engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license. St. Clair was one of the individuals ATF identified.
St. Clair admitted to regularly buying, displaying, and selling numerous long guns and handguns at the Indian Mountain Trade Center and at a warehouse parking lot in Grundy, Virginia. St. Clair admitted that he profited from his gun sales, and that he did so without a Federal Firearms License.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary T. Lee and Whit D. Pierce are prosecuting the case for the United States.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.