Former KC fire captain pleads guilty to illegally selling firearms to felons

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James Samuels

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former fire captain with the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department has pleaded guilty to illegally selling dozens of firearms, some of which ended up in the hands of criminals.

James Samuels, 54, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to make false statements during a firearm purchase, one count of dealing firearms without a license, four counts of selling firearms and ammunition to people who are prohibited from owning them and one count of possessing an unregistered firearm.

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Samuels admitted in his plea, that he purchased 77 firearms from Nov. 2013 to Aug. 2018. Of those firearms, Samuels sold 47, including six that have been involved in other crimes.

According to the affidavit, Samuels sold some of 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.

Samuels faces a sentence of up to 60 years in federal prison as well as potential fines. He will be sentenced at a later date.

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