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Press Release

St. Louis man arrested in sting operation pleads guilty to federal firearms charge

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

ST. LOUIS – Leonard Elliston Thomas, 36, of  St. Louis Missouri, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Thomas appeared, today, before United States District Court Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk.

In February 2020, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received information, from a source, Thomas and a co-defendant were attempting to purchase fully automatic firearms. The co-defendant was a Bureau of Prisons inmate at the time.

Thomas and his co-defendant negotiated a deal to purchase multiple firearms and Glock switches from undercover ATF agents in exchange for cash and methamphetamine. The co-defendant arranged a deal via telephone and Thomas met with agents. Both were arrested and multiple firearms and drugs were seized.

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


Updated May 18, 2021

Firearms Offenses