Former Arizona DEA agent admits to selling guns without a license

A former supervisory special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Tuscon admitted selling guns without a license — including two rifles he knew would cross the border into Mexico.

Nogales resident Joseph Gill, 42, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty Aug. 14 to two counts of illegally dealing firearms. In court documents, Gill said he bought three Colt Model M4LE rifles online from a gun store in Kentucky in June 2016 for nearly $1,900.

Five weeks later, he later sold two of the firearms to Mexican drug traffickers, according to a report from the Arizona Daily Star. Federal agents seized one of the rifles aboard a shuttle at the Nogales Port of Entry.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recovered 35 firearms from Gill’s residence and a large binder detailing nearly 650 private transactions he facilitated via Gunbroker.

ATF said Gill applied for a federal license to deal guns in 2012, but withdrew his application after the agency denied his request. His curious-and-relics license — which permits the sale of antique and novelty guns — expired in October 2016.

In a signed plea agreement, Gill’s attorneys requested a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 4, according to court records.

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