Eagle River Man Arrested for Trafficking Firearms

Eagle River Man Arrested for Trafficking Firearms

ANCHORAGE – An Eagle River man was arrested today in Illinois on criminal charges related to his alleged trafficking of firearms from Alaska to California.

According to court documents, Cornelius Leon William Smith, 32, purchased 9 firearms on behalf of other individuals while falsely stating that he was the true purchaser, bought a gun in Alaska and then re-sold it to a California resident, and operated a firearms business, all without the proper license.

Smith is charged with one count of Engaging in the Business of Dealing Firearms Without a License, one count of Transferring a Firearm to an Out-of-State Resident, and nine counts of False Statement During Purchase of Firearms. If convicted, Smith faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Ivers is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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