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August 22, 2018

Las Vegas Man Indicted for Selling Gun That Killed Deputy Bob French

According to a news release today from U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a federal grand jury indicted a North Las Vegas man for illegally purchasing and re-selling firearms over a two-year period.

The release read as follows:

Charles Martin Ellis, 64, an unlicensed dealer in firearms, was charged with one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of the transfer or sale of a firearm to a non-resident.

The charges stem from an ATF investigation conducted after a convicted felon shot and killed a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Deputy and shot and wounded two California Highway Patrol Investigators. The shooter used a Zastava 7.62mm caliber pistol sold by Ellis to another individual. The investigation also revealed guns sold by Ellis were used in other crimes in Nevada and California.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, from January 1, 2016, to February 1, 2018, Ellis bought and quickly resold over 250 firearms, such as AR-15 and AK-47 style assault pistols, without a Federal Firearms License (FFL). He is alleged to have sold firearms to Nevada residents and to individuals he knew or had reasonable cause to know were residents of other states.

The maximum statutory penalty for this crime is 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sheriff Scott Jones has issued the following statement regarding the indictment:

“The genesis of this investigation started the day Bob French was murdered.  With the gracious help of our federal partners and their relentless pursuit of this investigation, a dangerous felon that provided the instrument that killed Deputy French will now be held to answer.  It does little to fill the hole that still exists in his family and in our Department family, but it helps provide both a small measure toward justice and helps reduce the risk of a similar recurrence elsewhere.”

                                                                                                                       -Sheriff Scott Jones

Deputy Bob French was killed in the line of duty on August 30, 2017, during a shootout with an armed felon.  You can learn more details about this tragic day in Sacramento history by following this link:

Sergeant Shaun Hampton

Sheriff’s Spokesman

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