NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 23-year-old Chesapeake man pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to make false statements in connection with 45 firearm transactions, federal officials say.
Court documents show that Kevin Staton, Jr. bought and sold 45 firearms without a license between June 2019 and June 2020. Additionally, he made false official statements on ATF forms in order to buy firearms.
Officials say he claimed he was the actual buyer of the firearms, but, in actuality, he was purchasing the firearms for other individuals or with intent to resell them. He would then coordinate with co-conspirators to identify firearms for purchase through online firearm marketplaces.
When Staton was interviewed by ATF agents he said, “Guns are like money,” and “I’m buying them knowing I’m going to be selling them.”
It has been determined that at least 15 of the 45 firearms Staton purchased were recovered from crime scenes in other cities and states. All but one of those firearms had been used for a crime or recovered by law enforcement less than one year after purchase from Staton.
He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 27, 2022.