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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

September 24, 2009

Contact: Bill Filides

Office: (813) 202-7300

Unlicensed Firearms Dealer Pleads Guilty

Selling Firearms To Convicted Felons And Out Of State Residents

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Acting United States Attorney Thomas F. Kirwin, Northern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Virginia O'Brien, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Tampa Field Division, announced today that Henry Richard HALE, 62, of Pensacola, Florida, entered a plea of guilty to the eleven count indictment returned by a federal grand jury. In a hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Miles Davis, HALE admitted that he was not a licensed dealer of firearms, but willfully engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, to include sales to out-of-state residents and convicted felons.

The ATF Pensacola Field Office investigated HALE as one of several subjects illegally trafficking firearms. During the investigation HALE sold 14 firearms at the T&W Flea Market and 1 at his place of residence. A federal search warrant was executed at his residence, resulting in the seizure of 19 additional firearms. As a result of the investigation HALE admitted to selling over 400 firearms during a fifteen year period.

HALE, who is not federally licensed as a firearms dealer, sold the firearms to convicted felons and out-of-state residents and did not document the transactions as required by federal law. The T&W Flea Market does not authorize or allow the sale of firearms or ammunition at its business location.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Virginia O’Brien stated, “Through his actions HALE has placed the entire community in jeopardy by selling firearms to convicted felons. This case exemplifies why illegal firearms trafficking must be stopped.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.

Anyone having information on illegal gun activity should call 1-800-ATF-GUNS.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating federal firearms violations. More information about ATF and its programs is available at