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Lenoir Man Sentenced In Federal Case For Illegal Sale Of Firearm

Lenoir Man Sentenced In Federal Case For Illegal Sale Of Firearm

On Thursday (May 19) U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced 57-year-old Edward Clyde Ledford of Lenoir to probation and home detention for the illegal sale of a firearm. Ledford is identified in a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of North Carolina as a federal firearms licensee (FFL) doing business as Whitnel Outdoorsman and Pawn. Ledford was charged with knowingly selling a firearm to a prohibited person.

According to information contained in court documents and court proceedings, on April 15, 2019, an individual who was prohibited from possessing a firearm entered the Whitnel Outdoorsman and Pawn in Lenoir. Court records show that the individual told a store employee that he was interested in purchasing a firearm but would not pass the background check due to prior felonies on his record. The store employee advised the prohibited individual to “bring a buddy back” to fill out the paperwork.

Court documents state that on April 18, 2019, the prohibited individual returned to the store with an undercover U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent posing as a friend. This time, the prohibited individual spoke with Ledford and again explained that he wanted to purchase a firearm but could not pass the background check. The prohibited individual also told Ledford that, at the suggestion of a store employee, he had brought someone who could pass the background check, and essentially be the straw buyer for the firearm.

Ledford did not object, and, over the course of their exchange, the prohibited individual pointed to the semiautomatic shotgun he wanted to purchase. Ledford handed him the firearm and the prohibited individual paid Ledford in cash for the shotgun. Ledford also gave the undercover agent the ATF Form 4473 to fill out for the background check. Once the form was processed and the sale was completed the prohibited individual took possession of the firearm in the presence of Ledford.

Ledford was sentenced to two years of probation and five months of home detention, after pleading guilty to selling a firearm to a prohibited person. That guilty plea was entered on November 30, 2021. U.S. Attorney King credited the ATF for the investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney Alfredo De La Rosa of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the prosecution for the government.