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Press Release

Judges sentences Bureau of Prisons inmate busted in gun-selling sting operation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – United States District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk sentenced Keith Delmas Thomas to 70 months in prison today. The 30-year-old St. Louis County, Missouri resident pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

In February 2020, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received information from a source that Thomas, a Bureau of Prisons’ inmate, and his brother (Leonard Thomas) were attempting to purchase fully automatic firearms. The brothers negotiated a deal to purchase multiple firearms and Glock switches from undercover ATF agents in exchange for cash and methamphetamine. Thomas arranged a deal via telephone and his co-defendant met with agents. Both were arrested and multiple firearms and drugs were seized. Leonard Thomas pleaded guilty, last week, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“The ATF has no greater mission than keeping firearms out of the hands of violent criminals. This case not only demonstrates the lengths to which criminals will go to acquire firearms, but more importantly, ATF’s expertise and commitment to investigating such violations of federal law,” said Frederic Winston, Special Agent in Charge, Kansas City Field Division, ATF. “In partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office, we will continue to work tirelessly to bring those who disregard the safety of our communities to justice.”  

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Behrens is handling the case.


Updated May 25, 2021

Violent Crime