More charges filed against former KC fire captain accused of illegally selling firearms to felons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Additional charges have been filed against a former Kansas City fire captain charged earlier this month with illegally selling firearms to felons.

James Samuels, 53, of Kansas City, Missouri, was charged on October 1 with illegally selling an AR-15 .223 caliber rifle and at least 80 rounds of ammunition to someone later identified as a confidential informant for the ATF.

At the time of the sale the informant posed as a convicted felon and told Samuels that he was planning to shoot four people. Samuels still sold the rifle to him, court documents said.

Samuels is now also charged with participating in a conspiracy to make false statements during the purchase of firearms, engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license, possessing a stolen firearm, and two counts of possessing an unregistered firearm.

An indictment Wednesday alleges that from July 7, 2014, to Oct. 4, 2018, Samuels conspired with others to make false statements to federally licensed firearms dealers by misrepresenting the identity of the actual buyer of firearms.

The indictment cites numerous instances in which Samuels purchased firearms and transferred ownership to another person, who later reported the firearms had been stolen.

According an affidavit released earlier this month, Samuels purchased a total of 77 firearms, including 57 pistols. Of those firearms, Samuels allegedly sold 47, including six that have been involved in other crimes.

Samuels’ alleged actions are illegal because he does not have a federal license to legally sell firearms.

According to the affidavit, there were eight specific transactions where Samuels sold firearms to straw buyers, including on April 7, 2016. He sold multiple firearms to a straw buyer that day, including one pistol that was later used in the July 5, 2016 murder of Alvino D. Crawford.

A  Jackson County grand jury later indicted 18-year-old Devon Davis for first degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Crawford.

According to court records, a witness told police that Davis and another suspect, Jerome B. Walker Jr.,  attacked 29-year-old Crawford after he stopped to tie his shoe. Walker hit Crawford with a baseball bat and Davis shot Crawford.

Samuels has been in federal custody since his arrest on Oct. 4 and remains detained without bond. On Oct. 8, he resigned from his role with KCFD.

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