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Thursday, April 18, 2013
A Roanoke man who admitted to selling guns without a license to a buyer in Connecticut was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison, authorities announced.
Charles Matthew Wilson, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, according to a news release Thursday from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. He has previous convictions for dealing drugs and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
His defense attorney argued for a much shorter sentence on the grounds that Wilson has a large support network in Roanoke, had a difficult childhood and absent father, and admitted guilt early in the case.
Federal prosecutors said in court papers that an investigation of illegal trafficking of firearms from Roanoke to New Haven, Conn., was built upon the work of an informant of the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who bought guns four times in the summer of 2012.
In one incident in August 2012, Leshel Branch of New Haven drove Wilson and Jawawn Ricardo Hale, also of Roanoke, to a Walgreens parking lot in New Haven, where Hale gave two pistols and ammunition to the unnamed informant in return for $2,400, court papers said. Hale gave Wilson a $400 cut, the documents said.
Hale and Branch have pleaded guilty and have not been sentenced, according to the release.
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