December 1, 2008

Former U.S. Army Soldier Sentenced For Illegal Sale Of Automatic Firearms Obtained In Iraq

GREENBELT, MD - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams has sentenced Leonard Stephan Lockley, age 28, of Bowie, Maryland, to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for receiving and selling machine guns that he secreted out of Iraq while deployed as an Army soldier near Baghdad.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, "Whenever we catch a criminal using a gun, we ask ATF to trace the gun to the source. We must stop the flow of illegal guns to criminals."

According to court documents, in October 2003 a witness observed Lockley placing the component parts of four AK-47-style rifles into a large black metal chest containing a false bottom. At the time, Lockley was deployed near Baghdad, Iraq under orders from the U.S. Army. Lockley told the witness that he had the chest with the false bottom made and was using it to send the guns to the United States.

In mid- to late-2003, a second witness also observed Lockley in possession of at least four firearms, which the second witness described as AK-47 style rifles and a machine gun. Lockley told this second witness that he purchased the firearms from an Iraqi and planned to send them back to the United States in a box with a false bottom, which he showed to the witness.

Lockley was redeployed to the United States in February 2004. In March, Omar Holmes received a telephone call from Roland L. Chase, age 29, of Landover, Maryland, who stated that he knew someone who had fully automatic “AKs” for sale. Chase gave the phone to Lockely, whom Holmes recognized as a childhood friend. Lockley and Holmes agreed on a purchase price of $6,000 for five firearms.

They met at a predetermined location in Prince George’s County where Lockley removed a large, green “Army-type” bag from the trunk of Chase’s car and showed Holmes the firearms. They then went to a warehouse area located on Frohlich Lane in Hyattsville, Maryland and test-fired at least two of the weapons in fully automatic mode. Holmes and others gave Lockley $4,000 or $5,000 for the five firearms. These weapons were later used in a series of bank robberies in the Washington metropolitan area. Holmes has since pled guilty to charges related to those bank robberies.

On July 16, 2004, FBI and ATF agents investigating a bank robbery recovered a German model AKM 7.62x39mm rifle, Romanian model AIM rifle, a Saudi Arabian model AK-47 rifle and a Chinese model AK-47, all of which functioned in the semi-automatic and fully automatic modes. Further investigation connected cartridge casings recovered from Frohlich Lane in Hyattsville to these firearms, which were not legally registered to any person. The witnesses identified photographs of the firearms as the ones they saw in Lockley’s possession in Iraq in 2003, and Holmes identified them as being the firearms he had bought from Lockley.

Chase pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the receipt, possession, and transfer of machine guns and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 4, 2009.

Comments (9)

He got off light. First he should get more time for being stupid and allowing people to know what he was doing. Second for selling the things so cheap. 3rd for selling them at all.

Though people should be able to buy full auto weapon's, there should still be background checks and registration of such said weapons. I know what kind of gun owner an I wanting registration.
I am a person who believes in if you did nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide. The laws should be changed that if we do register our weapons, That we know somewhere down the road it will not be used against us. Until that time people will keep doing what they are, by trying to hide and sneak firearms into their homes.
This guy sold weapons that were used in bank robberies. What good did he do for our rights, and our situation for making legal gun ownership of any weapon welcome in this country. We should have the right to carry CCW in any state we go to. We should be allowed to own any weapon we want. For those rights we should be able to pass a background test. Also we should have to take a safety course and show the ability to use the weapon in a safe way.

He should have got at least 1 yr on each weapon he sold and then added 5 yrs for being stupid.

Posted by: Marc W | December 6, 2008 8:39 AM    Report this comment

These guns should not be illegal in the first place and people should be able to buy and sell them whenever they want. Assuming that the guns he was selling were not stolen property, I don't think he should be prosecuted at all.

Posted by: Christopher Patterson | December 4, 2008 3:13 PM    Report this comment

These guns should not be illegal in the first place and people should be able to buy and sell them whenever they want. Assuming that the guns he was selling were not stolen property, I don't think he should be prosecuted at all.

Posted by: Christopher Patterson | December 4, 2008 3:13 PM    Report this comment

These guns should not be illegal in the first place and people should be able to buy and sell them whenever they want. Assuming that the guns he was selling were not stolen property, I don't think he should be prosecuted at all.

Posted by: Christopher Patterson | December 4, 2008 3:13 PM    Report this comment

These guns should not be illegal in the first place and people should be able to buy and sell them whenever they want. Assuming that the guns he was selling were not stolen property, I don't think he should be prosecuted at all.

Posted by: Christopher Patterson | December 4, 2008 3:13 PM    Report this comment

I don't agree with selling automatic weapons for bank robberies,but i believe any law abiding citizen should be able to own automatic weapons for use in steel plate shoots or sub-gun matches.Don't blame guns,punish the law breakers.Switzerland doesn't have a problem with it. Why should we?

Posted by: Tbag | December 4, 2008 12:54 PM    Report this comment

This idiot deserves all that he gets. In the mean time he has tarnished the reputation of all those with whom he served. How about Leavenworth for a nice long vacation, or mabye just a firing squad?

Posted by: MasterGuide | December 4, 2008 12:27 PM    Report this comment

21 months for providing unregistered machine guns that were used to commit a bank robbery? Should I presume the sentence was low because he sold them so cheaply?

Posted by: dras | December 4, 2008 10:01 AM    Report this comment

"STUPID IS WHAT STUPID DOES"

Posted by: POPACAP | December 4, 2008 8:58 AM    Report this comment

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