Accused gun dealer said he 'didn't want government in his business'
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A former corrections officer from Lexington County faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to federal firearms charges.
William Andrew Cox, 56, pleaded guilty to dealing in firearms without a license in federal court in Columbia. Fox was a former officer with the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Prosecutors say Cox bought guns from several area gun stores. Two of those weapons were recovered after an arrest in the federal roundup of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Prosecutors say a defendant in the Hells Angels case bought two pistols from Cox through a web site he managed called Armslist.com. Within three weeks of their purchase, prosecutors say the guns were sold to members of the Hells Angels who then sold them to law enforcement agents.
According to prosecutors, another gun Cox sold was used in a violent crime in Trinidad.
ATF records completed with gun sales shows between March 2009 and August of 2012, Cox bought more than 150 guns on 31 different occasions. Cox admitted this to investigators.
The records show he bought two or more guns at a time, many of the same manufacturer, type, caliber and model. The ATF used this information to set up an undercover informant to buy guns from Cox several times.
When investigators searched Cox's home, prosecutors say they found 40 guns and ammunition.
When asked why he didn't get a license to sell the guns, prosecutors said Cox told them he "didn't want the government in his business."
The total value of the guns involved in this case is $49,000.
A sentencing date has not been set.
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