Lafayette Firearms Store and Owner Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges
Published 3:32 pm Thursday, September 9, 2021
LAFAYETTE, La. – Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two individuals from Broussard, Louisiana, and a firearms business in Lafayette, Louisiana, have each been indicted for conspiring to deal firearms without a license, making false statements in records required to be kept by a licensed firearms dealer, and failing to file sales reports in connection with their firearms business located in Lafayette.
Jeremiah Micah Deare, 37, Sarah Elaine Fogle, 30, and Dave’s Gunshop, LLC, a business owned by Deare, have been charged in an indictment with one count of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, two counts of making false statements with respect to records of a licensed firearms dealer, and four counts of failure to file multiple sales reports. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of 619 firearms which were involved in the commission of these offenses.
Deare was the owner of Dave’s Gunshop, LLC (Dave’s) and the responsible party for Dave’s Federal Firearms License. Deare and Fogle did not hold a Federal Firearms License in their individual capacities. The indictment alleges that on or about August 13, 2019, a compliance inspection was conducted at Dave’s by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Dave’s, through Deare, was warned for numerous violations, including failing to complete an ATF-4473 (1 time), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for dispositions (67 times), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for acquisitions (62 times), transferring firearms without having a final response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (2 times), inaccurate completion of ATF-4473 forms (111 times), and for missing firearms. The indictment alleges that, on that same day, the ATF investigator provided an Acknowledgement of Federal Firearms Regulations to inform Dave’s and Deare of their responsibilities as a Federal Firearms License holder. The acknowledgment was signed by Deare acknowledging that he understood he was responsible for familiarizing himself with the laws and regulations governing the operation of Dave’s.
The indictment further alleges that on September 19, 2019, Deare and Fogle attended an in-person warning conference at the ATF office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, wherein the violations were discussed. Deare was provided the opportunity to comment on the violations and articulate the corrective actions that would be taken to ensure that future violations would not occur.
The indictment also alleges that Deare and Fogle willfully engaged in the business of dealing in firearms without a license by buying and selling firearms without complying with the recordkeeping and background check requirements required by federal law. Deare and Fogle acquired large quantities of firearms and ammunition from estate sales and other means but would not document the firearms in Dave’s Acquisition & Disposition Book as required by federal law. In addition, firearms brought to Dave’s to be sold on consignment were not logged into Dave’s Acquisition & Disposition Book and were not placed for sale at Dave’s.
It is also alleged that Deare and Fogle kept firearms at their residence without logging them out of Dave’s store inventory and would travel with the firearms to gun shows conducted at various locations in Louisiana and in other states. Deare and Fogle sold firearms at gun shows to non-Louisiana residents for which no ATF-4473 or background checks were ever completed. Their failure to conduct background checks resulted in the sales of firearms to prohibited persons, including convicted felons. Additionally, the sales of firearms at gun shows outside the State of Louisiana were not done through a dealer licensed in the state where the gun show was conducted as required by law. The proceeds from the out-of-state gun sales of firearms were not included as revenue for Dave’s, but instead Deare and Fogle used it for their own personal gain.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The ATF is conducting the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo is prosecuting the case.