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Brentwood man pleads guilty in arms trafficking case

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Four executives of gun manufacturer await sentencing
Brentwood Home Page news reports

NASHVILLE -- Four former officers of Nashville arms manufacturer Sabre Defence Industries, LLC, pleaded guilty Monday to multiple charges in an international arms trafficking case. Among them was Sabre’s chief financial officer Elmer Hill, 64, of Brentwood.

Hill, along with Sabre’s president, Charles Shearon, 55, of Ashland City; Director of Marketing and Sales Michael Curlett, 44, of Hermitage, and International Shipping and Purchasing Manager Arnold See, Jr., 54, of Antioch, entered guilty pleas before Chief U.S. District Court Judge, Todd J. Campbell. Sentencing was set for August 1.

The four defendants, along with co-conspirators Guy Savage and SDI-US, were indicted in January for conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, making false statements on export and import documents, and for conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.

According to the indictment, Shearon, Hill, See, and Curlett conspired with Savage, 42, a citizen of the United Kingdom and owner of SDI-US, to illegally import and export regulated firearms and firearm components and technology to and from the United States.

During the plea hearings, Shearon, Hill, See, and Curlett stated that Guy Savage directed their illegal activities from his personal residences in the United Kingdom, as well as from a related company, Sabre Defence Industries, LTD (SDI-UK), a licensed manufacturer, distributor, and importer of firearms and firearms components, also owned by Savage and headquartered in the United Kingdom.

All of the defendants admitted that they had conspired to export firearms components, which are listed as defense articles on the United States Munitions List (USML), from the United States to an international location, without first obtaining a license or written authorization from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) of the United States Department of State, as required. They further admitted that they had conspired to import into the United States from international sources, suppressors, also known as silencers, which are also defense articles listed on the USML, without having first obtained the required license and authorization from the ATF.

On Feb. 8, Guy Savage was arrested in the United Kingdom with assistance from the London Metropolitan Police Service- International Assistance Unit, and the Department of Justice -Office of International Affairs. Searches were conducted in conjunction with the arrest and the Department of Justice is seeking Savage’s extradition from the United Kingdom to the U.S. to stand trial.

This case is being investigated by agents of Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. Additional assistance was provided by trial attorneys from the Department of Justice- National Security Division. Assistant United States Attorney John K. Webb and Department of Justice Trial Attorney John Han, from the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, are representing the United States.

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