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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

KC Fire Captain Faces Additional Charges Related to Illegally Selling Firearms to Felons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A captain in the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department was indicted by a federal grand jury today on additional charges related to the sale of firearms to convicted felons.

James Samuels, 53, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged in a 14-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a criminal complaint filed against Samuels on Oct. 1, 2018. Samuels has been in federal custody since his arrest on Oct. 4, 2018, and remains detained without bond.

The original charges of selling a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person and knowingly transferring a firearm for use in a violent crime are included in today’s indictment. The indictment contains five additional counts of selling a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person and two additional counts of knowingly transferring a firearm for use in a violent crime. Samuels is also charged with participating in a conspiracy to make false statements during the purchase of firearms, engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license, possessing a stolen firearm, and two counts of possessing an unregistered firearm.

Today’s indictment alleges that, from July 7, 2014, to Oct. 4, 2018, Samuels conspired with others to make false statements to federally licensed firearms dealers by misrepresenting the identity of the actual buyer of firearms. The indictment cites numerous instances in which Samuels purchased firearms and transferred ownership to another person, who later reported the firearms had been stolen.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Samuels’s residence on Oct. 4, 2018, and seized 28 firearms (including 22 handguns, five rifles and one shotgun). Among the firearms seized was a Glock .40-caliber pistol with a TAC Isran GLR 440 stock installed, which was not registered to Samuels, and a Colt .45-caliber pistol, which had been reported stolen.

Samuels was arrested on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, following an undercover operation in which he sold an Armscor of the Philippines .38-caliber revolver to a confidential informant whom he knew to be a felon.

The indictment cites several controlled purchases by confidential informants, whom Samuels knew to be felons who could not legally possess firearms or ammunition, who told him they planned to use the firearms to commit homicides.

Samuels allegedly sold a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun and a box of shotgun shells to a confidential informant whom Samuels knew to be a felon on June 29, 2018. According to court documents, the confidential informant told Samuels he/she was going to use the shotgun to shoot people. 

Samuels allegedly sold a Jimenez Arms 9mm handgun and ammunition to a confidential informant whom he knew to be a felon on July 19, 2018. On the same day, the indictment alleges, Samuels sold a box of shotgun shells and a box of .22-caliber long rifle ammunition to another confidential informant whom he knew to be a felon.

Samuels allegedly sold an American Tactical Imports Omni-Hybrid AR-15 rifle, an American Tactical Imports Omni-Hybrid AR-15 pistol and six boxes of ammunition to a confidential informant whom he knew was a convicted felon on Sept. 5, 2018. The AR-15 pistol with a vertical fore grip installed was not registered to Samuels. According to court documents, the confidential informant told Samuels he was going to use the firearms to shoot four people later that day. 

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 Brad K. Kavanaugh. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.
 

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Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated October 24, 2018