News and Press Releases

DOJ Seal

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist

WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/USAO/WVN

January 14, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wheeling Man Admits to
International Firearm Trafficking

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — A 25-year old Wheeling, West Virginia, man has admitted to acquiring firearms in the Ohio Valley and then shipping them to other countries in violation of federal law.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that MICHAEL STEVEN FRANK entered pleas of guilty to “Conspiracy to Export Firearms” and “Money Laundering” in the United States District Court in Wheeling. FRANK admitted in court that from February 7, 2012, to August 2, 2012, he unlawfully exported twenty-four firearms to purchasers in Canada and Israel. At least one of the foreign sales was funded through an unlawful money laundering transaction in which the buyer anonymously shipped $2,000 in currency to FRANK.

The investigation initially indicated the guns were being shipped by a man named “Jason Silvers” but the U.S. Postal Service was able to determine that the shipper was actually FRANK. It was further discovered that FRANK purchased the firearms from local gun dealers and then obliterated the serial numbers on the weapons before shipping them outside of the country in exchange for cash payments. As part of his plea, FRANK will forfeit all firearms involved in the violations as well as a money judgment of $2,000.

FRANK, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces up to 25 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $750,000.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Stein and was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service; US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Project Future

Call Sharon Perry at (304) 234-7721 or Email Sharon.Perry2@usdoj.gov to schedule your event.

WV Public Corruption
Hotline
Public Corruption

Call 1-855-WVA-FEDS or Email wvafeds@usdoj.gov if you have information about public corruption in your community.

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
What Makes Schools Safer? Using science to discover what works. Federal funding available. Visit NIJ.gov, keywords: 'comprehensive school safety intiative'
Community Outreach

Giving Back to the Community through a variety of venues & initatives.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Stay Connected: Visit us on Twitter
Justice 101