Three Naples Men Charged With Unlicensed Firearm Dealing
Fort Myers, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging Naples residents Homer Helter (68), Dennis Jarstad (59), and James Kassel (61) with conspiracy to unlawfully deal in firearms without a license. If convicted, they each face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the complaint affidavit, Helter is the owner and operator of "Homer Helter's Military and Antique Mall" located at 5510 Shirley Street, in Naples. Helter employed Jarstad and Kassel, both of whom worked part-time in the military memorabilia and firearms section. Helter, Jarstad and Kassel conducted illegal sales of various handguns and rifles at the antique store. None of the men were licensed to sell firearms. Helter had been previously warned twice by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that he had to have a license to sell firearms.
A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Collier County Sheriff's Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jesus M. Casas.
It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Violent Crime Reduction Partnership” (VCRP) program in conjunction with the “Project Safe Neighborhoods” (PSN) program - both nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategies led by ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, are coordinating the VCRP and PSN efforts here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.