ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. sentenced Wesley Joshua Smith to serve five years in federal prison after Smith pled guilty to aiding and abetting a separately charged accomplice who illegally obtained more than two dozen handguns that Smith trafficked domestically and internationally, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office statement.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, the charges and other information presented in court:
- Between December 2019 and February 2020, Smith paid an accomplice to purchase 28 pistols—always two or three at a time—from various licensed firearms dealers in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
- Smith was unable to purchase those firearms himself as a result of a 2013 conviction for an unrelated firearms offense in the state of Maryland, where he had previously resided.
At the time of each purchase, Smith’s accomplice completed paperwork in which he falsely claimed to be the actual buyer of the firearms when he knew that he was buying the guns for Smith, at Smith’s direction, and with Smith’s money. Within days and weeks of the firearm purchases by Smith and his accomplice, local police officers in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Canada recovered nearly a half-dozen of these weapons from crime scenes.
On February 10, 2020, special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives saw Smith accept a delivery of four, 9mm semiautomatic pistols and four, large capacity 30-round ammunition magazines. Agents arrested Smith after he tried to avoid apprehension by physically resisting an agent and attempting to flee.