A jury found a federally licensed gun dealer guilty last week of selling guns and ammunition to a convicted felon on Florida’s gulf coast.
Jay Loren Goldberg, 51, faces up to a decade in prison after transferring three firearms — including a pistol and two shotguns — and multiple boxes of ammo to a confidential informant at his St. Petersburg store, Fast and Easy Pawn Shop, between February and April 2017.
Court documents show the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives first learned of Goldberg’s reputation for selling to prohibited individuals in January 2017. A confidential informant entered the pawn shop Feb. 23, 2017 and discussed his prior felony convictions with Goldberg, according to investigators. A week later, the informant returned to the store and picked out a handgun and a holster with a straw purchaser in tow. When the informant attempted to pay, Goldberg insisted the straw purchaser hand over the cash instead.
The informant returned to the pawn shop on March 8, after the three day mandatory waiting period, to retrieve the gun and holster. He bought a box of ammunition, too, court records show. The informant later purchased two shotguns and a second box of ammunition over the next seven weeks, investigators said.
Court records show a federal jury found Goldberg guilty of selling the handgun and second box of ammo to the informant. He was found not guilty for the shotgun transfers.
The Department of Justice said the case falls under the purview of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a federal program to reduce gun-related crime across the nation. In March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions touted the program as one of the county’s approaches to reducing violent crime.
Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, DOJ prosecutions for those charged with violating federal firearm laws reached a decade high in 2017, according to Session. Violent crime prosecutions are likewise at the highest rate in more than 25 years — and the department “is just getting started.”