Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Los Angeles Field Division
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
July 16, 2010
Contact: Christian Hoffman, Special Agent, PIO
Office: (818) 265-2507
Cell: (213) 216-3622
Phoenix Licensed Gun Dealer Sentenced for Trafficking Firearms to California
PHOENIX — Shawn Michael Nealon, 38, of Mesa, Ariz., a federal firearms licensee and owner of Cavalry Arms Corp., was sentenced earlier this month to three years probation, 300 hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty on Feb. 18 to illegal firearms sales by a federally licensed firearms dealer to an out-of-state resident.
Calvary Arms, of Gilbert, Ariz. and holding a separate federal firearms license (FFL), was also placed on probation and fined $10,000 resulting in a loss of license to sell, manufacture, and a prohibition from possessing firearms.
Nealon sold four firearms to an out-of-state resident, knowing that the individual, at the time of sale, resided in the state of Calif. and not in the state of Ariz. Calvary Arms also sold 36 firearms to that same individual from Calif., which included AK-47 and AR-15 type rifles, shotguns and handguns. This investigation was initiated by ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division and prosecuted in the state of Ariz.
Today’s sentencing assures that neither Nealon nor his company, Calvary Arms, will be able to legally sell firearms, said John A. Torres Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Los Angeles Field Division of ATF.
This is an example of solid investigative work by ATF agents targeting an individual responsible for illegally trafficking firearms into the state of California.
ATF is the federal agency responsible for licensing persons engaged in manufacturing, importing, and dealing in firearms. It is critical for FFLs to comply with the Gun Control Act and regulations in order to assist law enforcement efforts, prevent the diversion of firearms from lawful commerce to the illegal market, ensure successful tracing of firearms, and to protect the public.
ATF has a responsibility to the public to revoke FFLs in cases of willful violations of the law and regulations, intentional disregard for regulatory requirements, or knowing participation in criminal acts.
Relevant Questions Answered by SAC John A. Torres
Reference the Shawn Nealon and Cavalry Arms investigation
- What was the significance of this case for ATF?
The importance of this case for ATF was the fact that we were able to identify and then stop a firearms trafficker from selling firearms illegally to out of state residents. Statistically, a very small percentage of licensed firearms dealers go astray of the law. Mr. Nealon was one of that small group and through good police work, we were able to identify his illegal activities and take action. He was trafficking firearms to California and we were able to stop him from selling guns illegally, period. Specifically this case had an impact on diminishing one source of guns to the criminal element. Generally, it is good for the public to know that we are enforcing federal firearms laws currently on the books and that anyone supplying guns illegally to gang members or others will be held accountable.
- How does the conviction of Shawn Nealon impact the
big pictureof firearms trafficking?
Anytime we can keep one firearms trafficker from violating federal law and from trafficking in firearms, we will do it. In this case, Mr. Nealon sold different types of firearms to a California resident illegally, thirty-six (36) high caliber firearms to be exact. These specific laws have been on the books for over 40 years and it was apparent he knew he was not complying with federal laws. He sold various firearms (AR-15’s and AK-47’s) to a Californian dozens of times. This needed to stop and we were able to do so.
- Did this conviction have an impact on violent crime?
This conviction was a good thing for all law abiding citizens of the United States, as was the sentencing. Nealon is now a felon who can no longer possess or own firearms. He cannot continue in the business of being a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer nor can he sell firearms at gun shows. The system worked and I applaud the efforts of the ATF agents who investigated Shawn Nealon’s illegal activities and the prosecutors who perfected the court case. They all had a role in keeping the citizens safe!
Anyone with information about firearms trafficking or the illegal possession of firearms is encouraged to call ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867). Callers can remain anonymous.
More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.