Connie Farrow, The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Federal authorities descended on three gun
dealers early Tuesday, armed with sealed search warrants and looking
for evidence of firearms violations.
Agents could be seen carrying what appeared to be weapons from two
businesses, Gunsmoke Gun & Pawn and a dealer of Wesley Richards
rifles. The two businesses share a one-story building and are owned
by the same person, said Larry Scott, a spokesman for the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Scott would not identify the owner, nor would not say whether anyone
was taken into custody during the raids. He also refused to comment
on the types of evidence agents were looking for.
"I can tell you it's federal firearms violations," Scott said.
Two moving vans sat in front of the building Tuesday morning, ready
to haul away evidence, Scott said.
A third dealer, Gunsmoke Gun and Gold Exchange, also was raided, he
said. It is owned by another gun dealer, whom Scott also would not
City business records indicate Gunsmoke Gun & Pawn and the Wesley
Richards dealership are licensed by Nancy Francis, of Greene County.
Gunsmoke Gun and Gold Exchange is licensed by Cathleen Schlichting,
A message left Tuesday morning by The Associated Press at Francis'
home was not immediately returned; Schlichting has an unpublished
Agents arrived at the dealers at about 5:30 a.m. Scott said about 100
agents were involved in the operation, including officers from the
Missouri State Highway Patrol, the ATF, Springfield police, the
Greene County Sheriff's Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
He said he didn't expect charges to be announced on Tuesday. Scott
said the raids were the culmination of a three-year investigation.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Businesses in Marshfield and another in Mountain Grove also were
raided Tuesday morning for federal firearms violations, but Scott
said those were the result of a separate investigation.