Bath gun dealer admits illegal weapons sales

Posted Dec. 18, 2010, at 7:06 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine – A gun dealer from Bath pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to selling a firearm to an out-of-state resident and making false statements to a government agency.

Richard Burgess, 56, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing has not been scheduled.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been investigating Burgess’ business since 2007, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.

“That investigation led ATF agents to a number of gun shows throughout Maine where undercover operations were conducted involving Burgess and others,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee in a media release Friday.

“Burgess sold firearms to an undercover law enforcement officer knowing that the officer was not a Maine resident and then participated in the completion of false federal firearm reporting forms,” McElwee said.

Burgess was a federally licensed dealer who sold at gun shows and online for 21 years.

In May 2007, ATF investigators did a comprehensive compliance inspection of Burgess’ business, according to the court documents. The investigators found “hundreds of record-keeping violations” and recommended that his license not be renewed. The ATF began an undercover investigation of Burgess.

Agents raided his home on March 30. They seized business records and 44 firearms that the agents claim were not recorded in his transaction logs, as required by law.

Copyright (c) 2010, Portland Press Herald, Maine

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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