BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man who pleaded guilty to illegal gun sales was sentenced Tuesday to 36 months in prison.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Kyle Farace, 26, also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and perform 150 hours of community service after his release from prison.
Farace, who was arrested on Aug. 9, 2011, pleaded guilty on Jan. 6, 2012, to one count of dealing in firearms without a license. When he pleaded guilty, Farace also admitted that he illegally possessed and distributed marijuana in April and May 2011.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on at least three separate occasions between April and June 2011, Farace, who is not a licensed firearms dealer, transferred five firearms to someone he believed to be a convicted felon and who resided in a different state. It is a violation of federal law for a person to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, to sell firearms to a convicted felon, or to transfer a firearm to a person residing in a different state.
Farace had originally been charged on seven counts -- one for dealing in firearms without a license, three for interstate transfer of firearms and four for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
According to court documents, Farace sold three guns to a man identified as "Seafood Mike," an undercover agent, in April 2011. Farace also sold marijuana to the man, stated the documents.
A spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut told the Reformer in January 2012 that Farace engaged in what are called "straw purchases" of firearms, in which guns are bought in one person’s name with the intent of selling them to a third person.
The guns Farace purchased at a Vermont gun shop and sold included a Century Arms International WASR 7.62 x 39 mm, model GP/WASR-10/63 rifle, a Masterpiece Arms, Model MPA30, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a Beretta, Model 92FS, 9 mm pistol.
According to court documents, "Seafood Mike" told Farace he was purchasing the guns for distribution to people in his "club." Farace told "Seafood Mike" that he did not mind if his "club" members were involved in criminal activities, as long as the firearms were not traced back to him. In addition, Farace believed that "Seafood Mike" was a convicted felon who was unable to purchase firearms legally.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Hartford Police Department, the East Hartford Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. The ATF and DEA in Burlington, the Addison County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont also assisted the investigation, which was under the aegis of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.
Bob Audette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.