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February 8, 2013

Rowlett man convicted of selling firearms without a license

DALLAS — Following nearly a week of trial and deliberation, a federal jury has found Jackie Don Burke, 68, of Rowlett, Texas, guilty of engaging in the business of firearms without a license, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Burke faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will remain on bond pending sentencing, which is set for May 24, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.

The government presented evidence at trial that Burke repeatedly bought used firearms for resale, a business that he conducted out of his print screening shop in Garland, Texas. According to Burke’s own records, he sold at least 135 firearms in a 14-month period.

In one instance, Burke sold a pistol to an undercover ATF agent without even asking if he was a prohibited person, i.e., a convicted felon. Burke only asked the agent if he had a Texas driver’s license, which Burke only glanced at. Burke had a sign outside his print screening business that declared that he was in the business of selling guns, but he maintained that he was simply selling firearms from his personal collection, which is lawful. During his testimony, Burke told the jury, multiple times, that he was simply “too old to go to jail.”

The indictment includes a forfeiture allegation that requires Burke, upon conviction, to forfeit 45 firearms.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Taly Haffar and Katherine Pfeifle are prosecuting.

 

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