Front Royal Man Sentenced on Gun Charges
Don Simonpietri Pled Guilty to Illegally Selling Firearms
HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA -- A former federally licensed firearms dealer who pled guilty to engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license and selling a gun to a convicted felon, was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg.
Don Francis Simonpietri, 65, of Front Royal, Va., was indicted in July 2010 on a variety of gun charges related to his illegal sales of firearms. He previously pled guilty to one count of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of selling or giving a firearm to a convicted felon. This morning, he was sentenced to three months of federal incarceration and six months of home confinement to be followed by two years of supervised release. He was also previously ordered to forfeit over 1,177 firearms and a 2004 Mustang to the United States.
“Convicted criminals forfeit their rights to own firearms,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Mr. Simonpietri ignored that important restriction when he sold a gun to a felons. His greed caused him to jeopardize the safety of his community. But for the outstanding efforts of a multi-jurisdictional team of law enforcement, he would have continued to sell illegal guns in the Valley. Today’s sentence and the forfeiture of more than 1,100 guns serves as a just outcome for this defendant.”
Acting ATF Special Agent in Charge Willie Brownlee said, "thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners and our investigators we were able to prevent more guns from getting into the hands of criminals. If you want to be in the business of selling guns, the message today is simple- follow the rules and get a Federal Firearms License."The defendant admitted that beginning in 2005, he illegally engaged in the business of dealing firearms at a local flea market in Front Royal, without being a licensed dealer. Simonpietri also admitted to selling a firearm to an individual he knew was a previously convicted felon and therefor ineligible to possess or purchase firearms.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Front Royal Police Department and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald Huber prosecuted the case for the United States.