Owner of Espanola-Area Gun Shop Pleads Guilty to Selling Firearms to Felons and Minors
Also Admits Falsifying Firearms Records and Making False Statements to Federal Agents
ALBUQUERQUE – Robert Real, 56, of Espanola, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to numerous violations of the federal firearms laws, including selling firearms to felons and minors and falsification of required firearm transfer records. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson and Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Robert Real, a licensed firearms dealer and owner of Shooter’s Outpost located in Espanola, his wife Linda Real, 65, an employee and a licensed firearms dealer, and Robert Real’s stepdaughter and employee Crystal Johnson, all of Espanola, were charged on Oct. 24, 2017, by indictment with the following offenses:
- Count 1, charging all three defendants with conspiracy to sell firearms by licensed dealers to prohibited possessors of firearms and ammunition from March 12, 2016 through Feb. 8, 2017;
- Count 2, charging Robert Real and Linda Real with selling a firearm to a felon prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition on March 12, 2016;
- Count 3, charging Robert Real with unlawfully selling a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun to a person under the age of 21 on June 4, 2016;
- Count 4, charging Robert Real and Linda Real with falsifying a required firearm transfer record form on Nov. 20, 2016;
- Count 5, charging Johnson with the unauthorized transfer of a firearm from a motor vehicle on Nov. 23, 2016;
- Count 6, charging Robert Real and Linda Real with selling a firearm to a felon prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition on Jan. 28, 2017;
- Count 7, charging Robert Real with making false statements to federal agents regarding the unlawful sale of firearms on Feb. 24, 2017; and
- Count 8, charging Robert Real and Linda Real with falsifying required firearm transfer record forms from Jan. 28, 2017 through Feb. 24, 2017.
The indictment alleged that the defendants committed the crimes in Rio Arriba County, N.M., Silver City, N.M., Albuquerque, Algodones, N.M., Carlsbad, N.M., and Santa Fe, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Robert Real pled guilty to Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 of the indictment. In entering the guilty plea, Robert Real stated that between March 12, 2016 and Feb. 24, 2017, he traveled and attended gun shows around New Mexico. He admitted that, in order to maximize his profits, he sold firearms and instructed his co-defendants to sell firearms without performing the required background check; falsified records of sale to indicate that firearms sales had occurred after a three-day standard delay period; sold firearms to convicted felons; and transferred firearms other than shotguns or rifles to persons under 21 years of age. Robert Real also admitted that in the case of a delayed sale, he instructed his co-defendant to transport firearms and unlawfully transfer it to the buyer from a motor vehicle rather than sell the firearms from the Shooter’s Outpost, his licensed business location.
During his change of plea hearing, Robert Real acknowledged that when he met with ATF Special Agents on Feb. 24, 2017, he made materially false statements to them about his firearms transactions. Specifically, Robert Real admitted disregarding “Delay” instructions from ATF during the sale of firearms at gun shows, and altering and causing his co-defendant to alter ATF forms for firearms sales.
At sentencing, Robert Real faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. In his plea agreement, Robert Real admitted that he was the organizer, leader and manager of his co-defendants. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
Linda Real and Johnson have both entered pleas of not guilty to the charges in the indictment. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the ATF and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec is prosecuting the case.