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Press Release

Maryland man who illegally purchased 59 guns in 17 months sentenced

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Temple Hills, Maryland, man was sentenced today to a year and two months in prison for making false statements while purchasing firearms in Virginia.

According to court documents, from August 2020 through December 2021, Robert Smith, 48, bought a total of 59 firearms over 24 purchases, each time affirming on the required federal firearms forms that he lived in Arlington, Virginia. At no time during that period did Smith live at the provided address in Arlington. Maryland state laws regulating firearms purchases would not have allowed Smith to purchase this many firearms during this period of time, whereas Virginia law allows it.

The investigation into Smith began when four firearms he had purchased were recovered from four different individuals during traffic stops. In each case, the serial number of the firearm was obliterated. During the prosecution of this case, at least two additional firearms linked to Smith were recovered, again with obliterated serial numbers. Aside from these, two were recovered from Smith and he did not report any of the firearms stolen. The locations of the remaining firearms he purchased are unknown to law enforcement.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Durham and Ronald L. Walutes Jr. prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-90.


Press Officer

Updated April 12, 2024

Firearms Offenses