(Houston) — Three people have pleaded guilty to federal gun crimes for taking apart and hiding guns in shipments to the United Kingdom.
Since guns are banned in Great Britain, they could double their money after buying the guns at sporting goods stores throughout the Houston area.
The trio specialized in buying .9-millimeter Glock Model 26 guns, known as “Pocket Glocks” or “Baby Glocks” for the way the smaller gun fits in the hand.
Each would fill out ATF Form 4473 when they bought guns to fill their orders, usually at Bass Pro Shops or other sporting goods stores in the Houston area. The form from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms requires all gun buyers to make certain declarations, including a promise that they are buying the gun for themselves and not handing it off to someone else such as a criminal.
Last July, ATF agents arrested 39-year-old Scotdale Joseph Liburd along with his 25-year-old ex-girlfriend Christine Nicole Pavlock and another companion, 24-year-old Yvette Trevino.
All 3 have now pleaded guilty to federal crimes for lying on those 4473 forms since they were taking the guns apart and tucking them inside stereo speakers or other electronics to disguise them from customs inspections.
But United Kingdom customs inspections found the gun parts despite those tricky disguises, and two different packages were intercepted in the middle part of last year.
In each shipment, the gun parts were tucked inside different pieces of electronics or other contents of the boxes. When all the parts were put together, you got a fully functional handgun.
The Glock Model 26 retails below $500, but shipping the guns to the U.K. would command a price of $1,000 in some of the sales, according to ATF agents.
Trevino told agents she was paid $200 for each gun that was bought in her name and later sold. She also told agents that Liburd was in charge of the racket, often being paid by wire transfer for his gun trafficking.
Agents say as many as 10 guns were bought by this trio, usually at Bass Pro Shop, Academy Sports & Outdoors or other sporting goods stores.
Trevino told agents that Liburd was only interested in the Model 26 Glock and that’s exactly what agents found when they ran all three names through their database of nationwide gun sales.
She was first to take a plea bargain, which put her on deck to testify against the other two. She was placed on 2 years of felony probation, but she avoids any time in jail for the crime.
Pavlock and ringleader Liburd pleaded guilty after that. Their sentencing is set for May 20th, when they could get anywhere from probation to 5-years in federal prison.
Examiner article when arrests were made