AP NEWS

2 men plead guilty in gun thefts from national trade show

June 14, 2019
FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2016 file photo, handguns are displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. Two former trade show workers have pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges following the theft of weapons from the U.S. gun industry's biggest annual convention, Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two former Las Vegas trade show workers have pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges in the theft of weapons from the U.S. gun industry’s biggest annual convention last January.

Forklift operator Jamikko Foster could face about four years in prison and co-worker Eduardo Limon faces around three years, according to plea agreements filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

Limon’s attorney, Chris Rasmussen, said Friday he’ll ask a judge to spare his client any more time in custody. Limon, 28, pleaded guilty to the two charges he faced: possession of a stolen firearm and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Authorities recovered all the more than 60 pistols, rifles, machine guns and silencers stolen from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade” show, Rasmussen said.

Foster, 27, pleaded guilty to firearms theft and unlawful possession of a machine gun. He had faced four weapons counts carrying a combined possible sentence of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Foster’s federal public defender, Heidi Ojeda, didn’t immediately respond to telephone and email messages.

Foster and Limon were arrested in February after a Nevada gun shop owner reported that a customer asked him how he could obtain a firing pin for an assault-style rifle. The National Shooting Sports Foundation requires SHOT show display weapons to be disabled by having firing pins removed.

After a trade show inventory revealed that weapons were missing, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives notified licensed gun store owners to report people seeking gunsmith services, according to court documents.

ATF agents and Las Vegas police identified Limon by store receipts and Foster as the owner of a black Chevrolet Impala seen on store parking lot video, documents said.

“This shows the quick reaction and cooperation between industry, retail and law enforcement to deter these kinds of crimes,” foundation spokesman Mark Oliva said Friday.

Oliva called the theft of weapons from the SHOT show a first in his memory. He declined to specify whether policies will change for the 2020 event held at the sprawling Sands Expo center adjacent to the Venetian and Palazzo resorts.

The show, entering its 41st year, is restricted to industry members. It draws about 1,700 exhibitors and more than 60,000 attendees.

____

This story corrects the name of SHOT show host National Shooting Sports Foundation, not Federation.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.