Florida man sentenced to 1 year in prison for selling firearms on Facebook

Federal attorneys announced Monday 60-year-old Bryan Grover Marley will spend one year and one day in prison for using Facebook to sell 170 firearms over a nine-month period beginning in July 2015.

Court documents show Marley bought the weapons, including small handguns and AR-15 rifles, from federally licensed firearms dealers before using Facebook posts to sell them to others — including four prohibited persons with felony and domestic violence convictions. Marley lied on transaction forms and claimed the guns were for his personal use, when in fact he turned around and sold the majority of them to customers on social media, court documents show.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Marley, of Sebring, Florida — about 90 miles south of Orlando — was arrested in April and later pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to a firearms dealer and one count of dealing firearms without a license.

After serving his prison sentence, he will have one year of supervised release, ATF officials said. He also agreed to forfeit 17 firearms confiscated by the agency during its investigation.

In a letter submitted to the court last month, Marley pleaded for leniency in his sentencing, claiming he began selling valuables from a storage unit to supplement his social security income and pay off mounting medical debt he incurred over the last decade since being diagnosed with Multifocal Motor Neuropathy.

“I noticed many individuals selling firearms in local groups on Facebook and I began selling some firearms locally,” he wrote. “During the ensuing months, I became aware that I needed a license to buy and sell firearms repetitively. It was at this point that I had a severe lapse in judgment. Regretfully, I began to rationalize my continuation of selling firearms. The additional income, although not substantial, had been a help to us. I now know how very wrong my thinking was and how this will impact me for the rest of my life.”

Marley will report to Butner Federal Correctional Facility in North Carolina on Jan. 20, 2017, according to the ATF.