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Press Release

Former Courthouse Worker Faces More Charges Related to Illegally Selling Firearms to a Felon

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Jefferson City, Mo., man who supervised workers at the federal courthouse in Jefferson City has been indicted by a federal grand jury on an additional charge related to illegally selling firearms to a convicted felon.

Victor Nahum Vargas, 40, of Jefferson City, was charged in a three-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City. The superseding indictment replaces an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on June 6, 2018.

The superseding indictment contains two counts of knowingly selling firearms to a felon, which were contained in the original indictment. The superseding indictment also charges Vargas with an additional count of making false statements to acquire firearms.

Vargas, who was employed as the custodial supervisor at the Christopher S. Bond Courthouse in Jefferson City, has been in federal custody since his arrest on May 11, 2018. Vargas remains detained without bond.

The federal indictment alleges that Vargas sold five firearms to a person he knew to be a convicted felon on April 18, 2018, and that he sold 11 firearms to a person he knew to be a convicted felon on May 11, 2018. In connection with his acquisition of 10 of those firearms, the indictment alleges, Vargas made a false written statement in which he claimed that he was the actual buyer of the firearms. In reality, the indictment alleges, Vargas was acquiring those 10 firearms on behalf of another person.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, a confidential source who is a convicted felon contacted Vargas on April 24, 2018, by phone. During several recorded communications between the confidential source and Vargas that occurred between April 24, 2018, and April 25, 2018, Vargas allegedly agreed to sell the confidential source 10 firearms for $7,500. According to the affidavit, Vargas knew that the confidential source is a convicted felon who is therefore prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing any firearms or ammunition.

On April 30, 2018, the confidential source contacted Vargas. During the recorded conversation, the affidavit says, Vargas agreed to sell the confidential source an additional rifle for $800. Vargas allegedly agreed to sell the confidential source 11 firearms for $8,100.

Law enforcement officers conducted surveillance on a firearms dealer in Jefferson City on May 9, 2018. According to the affidavit, they observed Vargas carry two boxes of firearms from the store, put them in his car and take them to his residence.

Vargas met with the confidential source on May 11, 2018, the affidavit says. Vargas allegedly sold 11 firearms to the confidential source for $8,100. Immediately after the transaction, Vargas was placed under arrest. The 11 firearms purchased by the confidential source were turned over to the officers, who also found an additional handgun and ammunition when they searched Vargas’s vehicle.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Chicago, Ill., Police Department, the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department Community Action Team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated October 25, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods