Two Plead Guilty to Dealing Firearms Without a License
ABINGDON, Va. – A pair of Southwest Virginia men pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court to illegally selling firearms without a license at the Indian Mountain Trade Center in Wise, Virginia, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Washington Field Division announced today.
In separate hearings held Friday, March 19, James Michael Boggs, 66, and Tommy Roger Dotson, 65, each pleaded guilty to one count of willfully engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license. Boggs is from Pound, Virginia, and Dotson is from Clintwood, Virginia.
According to court documents, in October 2019 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) began an investigation of firearm sales at the Indian Mountain Trade Center to identify and monitor individuals who appeared to be in the business of dealing firearms without a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Investigators with the ATF observed Boggs and Dotson associating with each other and regularly selling firearms to Trade Center attendees.
Dotson sold firearms from a sales booth, where he regularly displayed 25 to 50 firearms for sale. Boggs kept firearms in his truck and made sales from his truck. During the investigation, both men sold multiple firearms to undercover agents on various occasions. Boggs sold firearms to an undercover agent on three occasions, including nine handguns, a shotgun, and an AR-style rifle. Dotson also sold firearms to undercover agents on three occasions, including three handguns and two rifles.
During the time of these sales, neither Dotson nor Boggs possessed a Federal Firearms License, which is required to engage in the business of dealing firearms. Under the respective plea agreements, Dotson will relinquish 59 seized firearms and more than $13,000 in cash, and Boggs will pay a $5,000 fine. Both men face up to five years in prison.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary T. Lee and Whit D. Pierce are prosecuting the case for the United States.