by Alex Lloyd Gross
Thomas Harris Jr., 29, of Croydon, PA, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison, and three years of supervised release for multiple firearms trafficking offenses stemming from his scheme to sell almost 40 guns to a buyer on the island of St. Lucia. Authorities said that Harris went to two different Buck County gun shops and lied on his forms to purchase a gun. He also provided a fake address as his residence and then shipped the guns overseas. Harris did not have a license to export firearms, authorities said.
The period that Harris was sending the guns overseas was from April 2019 until February 2020. He bought 38 guns, authorities said. The guns were packed in boxes marked diapers, cat litter and laundry detergent. One of his packages was intercepted by federal agents at a warehouse. They found seven Glock semiautomatic pistols, one Ruger semiautomatic pistol, two AK-47 pattern pistols, two AK-47 pattern rifles, two AR-15 lower receivers, two AR-15 upper receivers, ten high-capacity Glock ammunition magazines, seven additional assorted ammunition magazines, and 815 rounds of ammunition.
“Firearms trafficking is at the forefront of ATF’s mission,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “Harris’ sentencing should send the message to criminals that a blatant disregard of federal firearms laws will be investigated jointly by ATF and our local, state, and federal partners.”
“The FBI continues to work with our law enforcement partners in pursuit of criminals whose actions violate our laws and put the citizenry of our country – or any other – in harm’s way,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “We have a global reach. It doesn’t matter if you are breaking laws and illegally trafficking guns within your state, within this country, or around the world. We will bring you to justice.”
“Illegally exporting firearms from the United States is a serious violation of our nation’s export control laws and often has dire consequences abroad,” said Jonathan Carson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement, New York Field Office. “This case demonstrates the outstanding collaboration between the Office of Export Enforcement and our law enforcement partners to aggressively enforce export violations in the interest of national security in the U.S. and abroad.”
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