N.C. man pleads guilty to gun trafficking

Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A man pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Charlotte, N.C. federal court to trafficking in dozens of assault weapons, court records showed.

Michael Beas, 33, was being held without bond while awaiting his sentencing hearing -- which could be months away -- due to his ties to Bolivia, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Polices apprehended Beas after Charlotte gun store employees became suspicious of his large AK-47 purchases and voluntarily informed federal agents, the Observer reported.

For six months last year, Beas went to gun shows in Charlotte, Hickory, Atlanta, Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach, court records showed. He sold in a hotel parking lot parts for 12 .50-caliber weapons, the most powerful available for public sale, the report said

Beas pleaded guilty to one count of illegally dealing firearms and faces a maximum sentence of a $250,000 fine and five years in prison. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Beas' lawyer said his client lived and worked in Greer, but then went to Bolivia to try to save his marriage after his wife, a Bolivian native, left for her home country.

Beas denied selling arms in Bolivia, court records showed.

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