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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Former Courthouse Worker Pleads Guilty to Illegally Selling Firearms to Felons

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Jefferson City, Mo., man who supervised workers at the federal courthouse in Jefferson City pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally selling firearms to convicted felons.

Victor Nahum Vargas, 40, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to all three charges contained in an Oct. 24, 2018, federal indictment.

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. Vargas pleaded guilty today to two counts of knowingly selling firearms to convicted felons and one count of making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer in order to acquire firearms.

Vargas admitted that he sold five firearms to a person he knew to be a convicted felon on April 18, 2018, and that he sold 11 firearms for $8,100 to a person he knew to be a convicted felon on May 11, 2018. In connection with his acquisition of 10 of those firearms, Vargas made a false written statement in which he claimed that he was the actual buyer of the firearms. In reality, Vargas was acquiring those 10 firearms on behalf of another person.

Vargas admitted that he knew both purchasers (confidential sources who cooperated with law enforcement) were convicted felons who are therefore prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing any firearms or ammunition.

According to court documents, Vargas was arrested immediately after the second transaction on May 11, 2018; the 11 firearms purchased by the confidential source were turned over to the officers.

Under federal statutes, Vargas is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole on each of the three counts. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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.

Firearms Offenses
Updated January 29, 2019