For Immediate Release
Former Fairfield PD Custodian Pleads Guilty as Felon in Possession of Firearms
Admits He Sold Guns He Stole from Evidence Room
BIRMINGHAM – A former Fairfield Police Department custodian pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of firearms, which he stole from the police department’s evidence room and was selling from his home, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Hyche.
ROY ELLIS HUNTER, 70, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala to one count of a July indictment that charged him with being a convicted felon in possession of four handguns on June 4, 2015. As part of his plea, Hunter agrees to forfeit 50 firearms, acknowledging they were connected to his crime. Hunter is scheduled for sentencing March 7.
"Roy Hunter is no longer stealing and selling guns,” Vance said. “ATF and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency shut down his conversion of evidence in a police locker into inventory for his illegal home-based gun store. Their fine work and this prosecution help make our communities safer.”
"The collaborative efforts of ATF, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners prevented the potential for firearms to illegally enter into commerce,” Hyche said. “Reducing the flow of illegal firearms into our communities aids in providing a safe environment for the public.”
According to the indictment and Hunter’s plea agreement, Hunter was convicted on federal racketeering and cocaine distribution charges in 1984 and on federal counterfeiting charges in 1983.
On June 4, 2015, Hunter sold four handguns, a Cobra .380-caliber pistol, an FIE .32-caliber revolver, an Iberia .40-caliber pistol and a Norinco 9 mm pistol, for $800 to an informant working undercover with ATF agents, according to the plea agreement. The transaction took place at Hunter’s Fairfield home and was monitored and recorded. In the course of that sale, Hunter and the informant planned a future purchase.
On July 8, in another monitored transaction at Hunter’s residence, the informant paid Hunter $4,000 to buy 15 firearms, which he selected from 30 that Hunter retrieved from his basement, according to the plea agreement. One of the guns was in a clear plastic bag that was marked “Evidence.” Agents arrested Hunter the next day and recovered 31 firearms, ammunition, narcotics and a decorative sword “that were all presumed to be stolen from the Fairfield Police Department,” according to the plea agreement.
The maximum penalty for the charge of felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
ATF, with assistance from ALEA, investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Royster is prosecuting.