170 seized and recovered guns traced to St Louis area pawn shop – 3 arrested for unlawful transfer of a firearm to a felon

By JIM SALTER,  Associated Press  CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) 03/06 — More than 170 firearms seized or recovered by police during an eight-month period last year were purchased from a single St. Louis-area pawn shop, federal authorities said in announcing charges against three men connected to the shop.

Carlos Jones, 31; Robert Thornton, 36; and Steven Johnson, 44, were charged Thursday with unlawful transfer of firearm to a convicted felon and making false statements on firearm records. All three men worked at Piazza Jewelry and Pawn in Overland, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb.

The federal complaint said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced 170 seized and recovered guns to sales at the pawn shop, with 102 of those guns recovered in the city of St. Louis. ATF Special Agent Chad Foreman wrote in an affidavit released Thursday that six of the confiscated guns were used in homicides, four in robberies, 20 in weapons offenses, and were found in 36 cases in which a prohibited person was in possession of a firearm.

ATF agents conducted an undercover investigation in October through December that revealed guns were often sold to “straw” purchasers who then provided the firearms to others, the criminal complaint alleged.

A search warrant was executed in December, when officers seized more than 900 firearms.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said in a statement that the investigation revealed that Piazza “routinely and illegally put guns in the hands of people, who committed numerous, violent gun crimes across our City. Our City is now safer, because of the collaborative effort between the St. Louis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.”

Jones lives in St. Louis; Thornton in Florissant, Missouri; and Johnson in Belleville, Illinois. It wasn’t immediately clear if the men had attorneys.

Anna M. Alvarado, general counsel for First Cash Inc., the company that owns Piazza Jewelry and Pawn, declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

https://apnews.com/6718e0ef71af1eee1f78cb91a758049f

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Arrests, ATF - BATFE, Crime & Criminals, Firearms, Illegal Activities, Investigations, Police, Prohibited Person/Felon in Possession, Search Warrants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × 5 =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.