FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - OCTOBER 24, 2005
WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that in federal court on October 19, 2005, Senior U. S. District Judge James C. Fox sentenced TIMOTHY ROBERT HARRIS, 68, of Louisburg, N. C., to 40 months’ imprisonment, two years’ supervised release, a fine of $30,000, and a special assessment of $100, due to his sale of hundreds of firearms without a license. During the period from 1989 to June 10, 2004, HARRIS, a successful businessman, sold in excess of 320 firearms without a license. HARRIS told his customers they need not worry about obtaining handgun permits as required by law. In order to facilitate the sale of such a large number of weapons, by early 2001 HARRIS found it necessary to install a walk-in vault, with interior lighting, for use in displaying his inventory. The vault measured approximately 15 feet long by 6 feet wide. Upon entering the vault, the gun inventory was displayed with price tags in order to make shopping more convenient for his customers. In some cases, there was a two hundred percent mark up on the original price paid by HARRIS for his inventory.
At the sentencing hearing, the Government presented evidence that certain drug dealers had purchased firearms from HARRIS in order to avoid paperwork requirements. Some of the guns, which HARRIS purchased from licensed gun dealers, have been recovered at crime scenes.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. AUSA Dennis M. Duffy prosecuted the case for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.