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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Louisiana
Brandon B. Brown, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Former Lafayette Firearms Store Owner and Wife Sentenced on Federal Firearms Charges

LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Jeremiah Micah Deare, 40, Sarah Elaine Fogle, 33, were each sentenced yesterday afternoon on federal firearms charges. Deare and Fogle were convicted by a federal jury in November 2023 after a nearly week-long trial of conspiring to deal firearms without a license, making false statements in records required to be kept by a licensed firearms dealer, and failing to run required background checks in connection with their unlicensed firearm business located in Lafayette. United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. sentenced the couple as follows:

Jeremiah Micah Deare was sentenced to 97 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Sarah Elaine Fogle was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

At the trial in November 2023, evidence was introduced that Deare was the owner of Dave’s Gunshop, LLC (Dave’s) and the responsible party for Dave’s Federal Firearms License, which was located in Lafayette, Louisiana. Deare and Fogle did not hold a Federal Firearms License in their individual capacities. Testimony at trial from numerous witnesses revealed that Deare and Fogle engaged in the illegal sale and attempted illegal sale of hundreds of firearms out of their residence and at gun shows as an unlicensed business. The couple was found to have engaged in the business of dealing firearms without following applicable laws, including the required background checks on their customers.  There were 246 firearms seized from the couple’s home, many with price tags, and the indictment also seeks forfeiture of a total of 619 firearms which were involved in the commission of these offenses.

On or about August 13, 2019, a compliance inspection was conducted at Dave’s by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). At a warning conference on September 19, 2019, in Baton Rouge, Deare and Fogle were warned for numerous violations, including failing to complete a background check form ATF-4473 (one time), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for dispositions (67 times), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for acquisitions (62 times), transferring firearms without having a final response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (two times), inaccurate completion of ATF-4473 forms (111 times), and for missing firearms. On that same day in 2019, the ATF investigator provided an Acknowledgement of Federal Firearms Regulations to inform Deare of his responsibilities as a Federal Firearms License holder, and about laws relating to engaging in the business of selling firearms at gun shows. The form was signed by Deare acknowledging that he understood he was responsible for familiarizing himself with the laws and regulations.

Deare and Fogle, after being warned, willfully engaged in the business of dealing in firearms without a license by buying and selling firearms without complying with the recordkeeping and background check requirements required by federal law. Both defendants acquired large quantities of firearms and ammunition from estate sales and other means but would not document the firearms in Dave’s Acquisition & Disposition Book as required by federal law. In addition, firearms brought to Dave’s to be sold on consignment were not logged into Dave’s Acquisition & Disposition Book and were not placed for sale at Dave’s, but rather were taken to various gun shows and sold without background checks in an unlicensed business. Their failure to conduct background checks resulted in the sales of firearms to persons prohibited by law from possessing or purchasing firearms. Additionally, the sales of firearms at gun shows outside the State of Louisiana were not done through a dealer licensed in the state where the gun show was conducted as required by law.

“The regulation of firearm production and sales is a necessary function of the ATF,” stated U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “The ATF took the opportunity to counsel the defendants as to their wrongdoing, but the defendants nevertheless ignored ATF, deciding to proceed with their criminal conduct and the court has now held them accountable. We hope these sentences serve as a deterrent to anyone who considers engaging in such illicit activity going forward.”

“These two defendants are part of fueling the violent crime problem across the country by selling to prohibited persons,” said ATF New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson. “They have shown a reckless disregard for the federal laws and responsibilities associated with the privilege of possessing a federal firearms license. The sentence imposed sends a message to the community that dishonorable individuals like this will be held accountable as we work to keep our neighborhoods safe as a top priority for ATF.”

The ATF conducted the investigation and Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren L. Gardner and Myers P. Namie prosecuted the case.

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