News and Press Releases

former pawn shop owner sentenced for selling stolen firearms

Don Ledford

January 4, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former owner of a Kansas City, Mo., pawn shop was sentenced in federal court today for selling stolen firearms and for manufacturing a sawed-off shotgun.

Robin A. Smith-Theis, 49, of Blue Springs, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to two years and seven months in federal prison without parole. Smith-Theis was the owner of Royal Pawn and Loan, 8227 Troost in Kansas City, which is no longer in business.

Co-defendant Eric E. Cole, 32, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to seven years and six months in federal prison without parole.

On May 13, 2010, Smith-Theis pleaded guilty to selling stolen firearms and to aiding and abetting the making of a firearm into a short-barreled shotgun. Smith-Theis admitted that she sold a stolen Irwindale Arms .30-caliber carbine pistol to an undercover law enforcement officer. She also admitted that her relevant conduct in the overall scheme included additional stolen firearms that she sold.

On July 19, 2010, Cole pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the making of a firearm into a short-barreled shotgun. Both Smith-Theis and Cole admitted that they were involved in sawing the barrel of a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, which was cut down to a length under 18.5 inches.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Barnes. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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