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US says man took 63 guns to UK in checked luggage

US says man took 63 guns to UK in checked luggage

A North Carolina man concealed a total of 63 pistols in his checked luggage on multiple trips to the United Kingdom where he sold the weapons, prosecutors said in court documents Thursday.
A new indictment accuses Steven Neal Greenoe of 50 federal charges related to the weapons. Greenoe, 37, would purchase the firearms, take them apart and disguise them as engineering samples and inert weapons before concealing them in his luggage. He traveled at least eight times from Raleigh to the United Kingdom in 2010 and received large cash payments, prosecutors said.
Greenoe was first charged last summer with attempting to illegally export 16 guns. The case has caused consternation in Britain, where gun crime is rare, pistols are banned and few law enforcement officers carry firearms.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last week the case was a topic of discussions during her visit to London.
U.S. Attorney George Holding, who oversees the prosecution district in Raleigh, said he was troubled that Greenoe was able to make several trips with weapons. He said investigators hope to learn more about how he was able to carry out his crimes.
"The magnitude of this case touches not only U.S. citizens but our great British allies," Holding said Thursday. "Our federal firearms laws were put into place to protect our citizens. However, our obligation as good neighbors is just as important to ensure that others are not harmed by individuals who break our firearms laws."
Prosecutors also accuse Greenoe of making false statements when acquiring the weapons, failing to provide notice to the airline that firearms were being transported and failing to obtain Department of State approval for firearms exports.
Previous court documents show that Greenoe told investigators that he knew he wasn't supposed to bring the weapons in his luggage but was doing so to outfit employees working on maritime security contracts abroad.
Investigators told him of an operation in which undercover police officers in England recovered three guns purchased by Greenoe.
If convicted, each charge carries a maximum sentence of either five years or 10 years in prison. An attorney for Greenoe did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


Updated : 2021-10-17 22:56 GMT+08:00