Former All-American Football Player Sentenced To Prison For Gun Trafficking
- Jul 07, 2022
- The Daily Wire
A former two-time All-American college football player was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Wednesday following his conviction for gun trafficking.
Kevin Staton Jr., 24, who played offensive line for the Norfolk State Spartans, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to make false statements in connection with 45 firearm transactions, according to the Department of Justice.
“Those who traffic illegal firearms, like this defendant, are fueling the fires of gun violence, and with our law enforcement partners we will continue to relentlessly pursue those who seek to profit from these crimes,” said Jessica D. Aber, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Facing a maximum of 15 years, Staton was sentenced to just 18 months in prison, with two years of supervised release. Authorities say that the former football standout “engaged in the business of buying and selling 45 firearms without a license” for about a year, from June 2019 to June 2020.
According to federal prosecutors, the 24-year-old lied on ATF paperwork, “purchasing the firearms for other individuals or with the intent to quickly resell them.”
Several of the guns that Staton trafficked were later linked to homicides and shootings and taken from convicted felons. The DOJ said that one of the weapons was “connected” to a March 21, 2020 homicide in Philadelphia, while another was linked to a shooting with multiple victims on May 28, 2020. A third was linked to a May 30, 2020, shooting into a home.
At least one-third of the firearms Staton trafficked were linked to crime scenes across the country.
During the investigation, Staton told ATF agents, “Guns are like money” and “I’m buying them knowing I’m going to be selling them.”
“Today’s announcement sends a clear message of accountability because we know all too well that purchasing firearms for people other than yourself can yield deadly consequences,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Charlie Patterson said. “We at ATF continue to work diligently to ensure that people who violate established firearm related laws and commit acts of violence like those involved in this investigation will not be tolerated.”
Aber also lauded the passage of the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” in her statement, which was the most expansive gun control law passed in decades. President Biden signed the bill last month after it passed with support from some Republicans in the House and the Senate.