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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Arms Trafficker Sentenced For Illegally Shipping Handguns To Dominica

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew today sentenced Edger Edmund Francis (29, Tampa) to 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States. Francis pleaded guilty on April 23, 2018.

According to court documents, on September 22, 2016, Francis rented a U-Haul truck and drove it from Tampa to a shipping company in Riviera Beach, Florida. In Riviera Beach, Francis arranged to ship a barrel containing three handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, concealed among various household goods. The barrel was destined for Roseau, Dominica, and records showed that Francis had bought the household items from a store in Tampa, just before making the trip. Francis never applied for, or received, an export license or other written prior approval to ship the guns or ammunition outside of the United States.

On or about October 26, 2016, the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force searched the barrel and found the guns and ammunition hidden inside.

 “This case is an example of HSI’s dedication to stopping smuggled weapons before they fall into the hands of criminals who pose a threat to public safety both here and abroad,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, including its Attaché Caribbean, with assistance from the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated July 25, 2018