U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Washington
Western District of Washington
For Immediate Release
February 23, 2012
Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney
Contact: Emily Langlie
Former Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Gun Sales and Tax Crime
Sold Hundreds of Firearms Without License and Failed to Report Income
ROY ALLOWAY, 56, of Bremerton, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for unlawful dealing in firearms and filing a false income tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. ALLOWAY is a former Bremerton Police Officer, who for years was assigned to the West Puget Sound Narcotics Task Force. ALLOWAY was warned twice in 2005 that his sales of guns at gun shows violated federal licensing rules. Nevertheless, ALLOWAY continued to purchase and sell guns without a federal firearms license – including nearly 600 guns purchased from Bremerton and Tacoma gun shops, and another 169 firearms purchased from a Shelton source. Much of the conduct occurred while he was an active police officer.
It was a breach of trust, said U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton at sentencing.
It was not a technical violation; it was a total abdication of his responsibilities under the law.
The defendant breached his primary duty as a police officer – the duty to protect the public. Our community has seen too often the dangerous and tragic consequences caused when guns end up in the wrong hands, said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
It is unthinkable that he cared more for his pocket book than the public good, and that he used his position as a police officer to cycle guns back on to the street.
As part of the plea agreement, ALLOWAY is forfeiting 45 firearms to the government. The guns were seized when ALLOWAY’s home was searched on November 18, 2010. ALLOWAY was indicted following a lengthy undercover investigation of gun sales at gun shows. At gun shows in Centralia and Puyallup, ALLOWAY sold guns to undercover federal agents. Some of the guns had been purchased by ALLOWAY from licensed sellers just days earlier – so they could not be considered part of a personal collection. ALLOWAY had been warned in 2005 that his level of gun sales required a federal firearms license (FFL), and for a time he and a partner had an FFL. However in 2007, ALLOWAY ceased all connection to that licensee yet continued to purchase and sell hundreds of guns. In 2008, other licensed dealers warned ALLOWAY that he need to become an FFL – he ignored those warnings as well. Between 2007 and 2010, ALLOWAY deposited cash, checks and money orders into his bank account totaling about $192,000 from the sale of firearms. However he failed to declare that income on his tax returns. As part of his plea agreement, ALLOWAY has agreed to pay all back taxes.
In asking for a sentence at the high end of the guidelines range prosecutors wrote to the court that Alloway
received more warning notices, more chances, and had more opportunities to correct his behavior, than most people who sell firearms without a license
He chose to turn his back on the ATF and others. Rather than abide by the law, he looked for ways to evade it. His behavior demonstrated a lack of respect for the law, and showed that he either did not care about the law, believed that the law did not apply to him, or believed that he was smarter than anyone who might eventually investigate him. Some of the guns ALLOWAY bought and sold later turned up at the scenes of a robbery, two assaults and in the hands of two felons.
This should send a clear message, that there is zero tolerance for illegally dealing firearms without a license, said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kelvin Crenshaw.
If there is any intent to engage in the business of selling firearms without a license, such as Mr Alloway, go through the proper process and get a license.
The prosecution of this individual should serve as a reminder to those who buy and sell guns, whether at gun shows or from their homes, that their income is taxable and must be reported, said Kenneth J. Hines, the IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Northwest.
Tax cheating diminishes the government's ability to provide vital services to our communities. Tax crimes are not victimless.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bruce Miyake, Nicholas Brown and Mike Lang.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.