Lafayette gun store owner, wife, convicted of selling firearms without license

A Lafayette firearms store owner and his wife were found guilty of dealing in firearms without a license, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Louisiana.

A jury trial that began in federal court Nov. 27 ended Nov. 30. The jury found the couple from Broussard, Jeremiah Micah Deare, 37, and Sarah Elaine Fogle, 30, guilty of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license after hearing from more than 20 witnesses.

Trial testimony and evidence revealed that Deare was the owner of Dave’s Gunshop and the responsible party for Dave’s Federal Firearms License, which was located in Lafayette. Numerous trial exhibits demonstrated the illegal sale and attempted illegal sale of hundreds of firearms out of their residence and at gun shows as an unlicensed business.

Federal Courthouse in Lafayette
Federal Courthouse in Lafayette

Two hundred forty six firearms were seized from the couple’s home, many with price tags, and were brought into court for the jury to inspect, the release states. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of a total of 619 firearms that were involved in the commission of these offenses.

The couple originally were indicted in 2021 for conspiring to deal firearms without a license, making false statements in records required to be kept by a licensed firearms dealer and failing to file sales reports in connection with their firearms business located in Lafayette. A compliance inspection was conducted at Dave’s by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in August 2019.

At a warning conference Sept. 19, 2019, in Baton Rouge, Deare and Fogle were warned for numerous violations, including failing to complete a background check form ATF-4473 (one time), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for dispositions (67 times), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for acquisitions (62 times), transferring firearms without having a final response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (twice), inaccurate completion of ATF-4473 forms (111 times), and for missing firearms.

Trial evidence confirmed that the ATF investigator provided an Acknowledgement of Federal Firearms Regulations to inform Deare of their responsibilities as a Federal Firearms License holder, and about laws relating to engaging in the business of selling firearms at gun shows that was signed by Deare acknowledging that he understood he was responsible for familiarizing himself with the laws and regulations.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, during trial, testimony and evidence showed that Deare and Fogle, after being warned, willfully engaged in the business of dealing in firearms without a license by buying and selling firearms without complying with the recordkeeping and background check requirements required by federal law.

Deare and Fogle sold firearms at gun shows to non-Louisiana residents for which no ATF-4473 or background checks were ever completed. Their failure to conduct background checks resulted in the sales of firearms to persons prohibited by law from possessing or purchasing firearms.

Deare faces a sentence of not more than five years in prison on the first two counts and not more than 1 year on the third. Fogle faces a sentence of not more than five years in prison on the first count. Each defendant also faces up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

Deare was remanded into custody, where he will remain until the sentencing April 2, 2024. Fogle will remain out on bond, with a restriction prohibiting her from traveling outside the State of Louisiana.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Lafayette gun store owner convicted for selling firearms without license