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Press Release

Linn County Man Sentenced For Federal Firearms Violation

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

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Linn County man was sentenced Monday to 41 months in prison for a federal firearms violation, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Jeffrey Nicholas, 48, Pleasanton, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of possessing firearms and ammunition after a felony conviction.

In his plea, Nicholas admitted the investigation began in November 2011 when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted a compliance inspection at Big Bear’s Gifts & Pawn Shop in Pleasanton. The owner of the store, co-defendant Barry Walker, was at that time Linn County Sheriff. Walker was allowing Nicholas, who had a prior felony conviction, to handle, sell and possess firearms, in violation of federal law. Walker was counseled on the violation and agreed to prevent Nicholas from having any further access to firearms.

Despite the warnings from ATF, Nicholas continued to be involved in handling, selling and possessing firearms at the store during 2012 and 2013.

Co-defendant Barry Walker was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.

Grissom commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri McCracken for their work on the case.

Updated February 9, 2015