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Former KCFD captain faces new charges related to illegal firearms sales

Posted: 5:06 PM, Oct 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-24 22:06:45Z

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department Captain James Samuels faces a new 14-count indictment after a grand jury handed down additional charges Wednesday related to the illegal sale of firearms, including sales to convicted felons.

Samuels, 53, originally was charged in federal court with two counts — selling a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person and transferring a firearm used in a violent crime — earlier this month.

The more sweeping indictment handed down Wednesday replaces the original indictment and includes the two original charges.

The new indictment includes five additional counts of selling a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person and two additional counts of knowingly transferring a firearm for use in a violent crime, according to a release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Samuels, a KCMO resident, remains in custody without bond. 

He also has been charged with conspiracy to make false statements during the purchase of firearms, dealing firearms without a license, possession of a stolen firearm, and two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm.

During a period of more than four years, beginning July 7, 2018, until his arrest Oct. 4 during an undercover operation, Samuels engaged in a conspiracy to deceive federally licensed firearms dealers about the identity of the actual purchaser of firearms, including several instances when he bought a gun and transferred ownership to another person who then reported it stolen.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant after Samuels’ arrest, which led to the seizure of 28 guns — 22 handguns, five rifles and a shotgun. One unregistered gun and another that had been reported stolen were included among the more than two dozen weapons.

Samuels sold several weapons to confidential informants whom he knew to be convicted felons during controlled purchases, including felons who said they planned to use the firearms to commit homicides.
Among those instances, Samuels allegedly:

  • Sold a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun and box of shells June 29, 2018, to a confidential informant and known convicted felon, who said he planned to use the firearm to shoot people; 
  • Sold a Jimenez Arms 9mm handgun and ammunition July 19, 2018, to a confidential informant and known convicted felon;
  • Sold a box of shotgun shells and box of .22-caliber long rifle ammunition July 19, 2018, to a confidential informant and known convicted felon;
  • Sold an American Tactical Imports Omni-Hybrid AR-15 rifle, an American Tactical Imports Omni-Hybrid AR-15 pistol with a vertical fore grip not registered to Samuels, and six boxes of ammunition Sept. 5, 2018, to a confidential informant and known convicted felon, who said he planned to use the firearm to shoot people.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department investigated the case along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a joint law enforcement initiative to reduce violent crime in the Western District of Missouri.