Check, Va. Man Sentenced for Lying to Investigators
Thomas Zachariah Jeffries To Spend Six Months In Prison
ROANOKE, VIRGINIA -- A Check, Va. man, who previously pled guilty to lying to federal investigators about his dealings in firearms, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.
Thomas Zachariah Jeffries, 45, of Check, Va., previously pled guilty to one count of lying to investigators about his possession of a semiautomatic shotgun. Yesterday morning, he was sentenced to six months of federal incarceration to be followed by six months of home incarceration. In addition, as part of the plea agreement the defendant forfeited 171 firearms, valued at more than $75,000, to the United States.
“Mr. Jeffries illegally sold firearms for profit and lied to federal investigators about his actions,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Illegal gun sales by unlicensed dealers put the public in danger and will not be tolerated.”
The investigation of Mr. Jeffries began in 2010 when agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] delivered a “Notice Of Unlicensed Firearms Dealing In Violation Of Federal Law” letter to the defendant. ATF officials told Mr. Jeffries to either stop dealing in firearms or get a license to do so lawfully.
In May 2012, investigators discovered that the defendant had 33 firearms for sale on a public website. Later in 2012, investigators, in conjunction with a search of Jeffries home, interviewed the defendant, during which time the defendant stated that he had never owned, possessed or even seen a semiautomatic shotgun, commonly referred to as a “street sweeper.” Investigators later determined that in fact the defendant had been in possession of the firearm in question.
The investigation of the case was led by Special Agent Stephen Levesque of the Bristol ATF Office, with assistance from the Roanoke ATF Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Albert Mayer prosecuted the case for the United States.