Local News

Raleigh native charged with smuggling guns to England

Posted July 29, 2010

— Federal authorities have charged a former Raleigh man with buying a cache of weapons in North Carolina and illegally taking them to England aboard commercial flights, according to warrants unsealed Thursday.

U.S. Magistrate William Webb ordered that Steven Neal Greenoe be detained, ruling that he posed a flight risk and a danger to the community. Greenoe, who grew up in Raleigh, is a former Marine who now lives in England.

British authorities investigating illegal gun sales tipped off agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 19 about a possible link to Greenoe. They had linked three Glock handguns with missing serial numbers that had been sold to an undercover officer to a purchase Greenoe made in Raleigh on Feb. 17.

ATF agents determined that Greenoe had legally purchased 60 handguns and one shotgun since mid-February from shops in Raleigh, Garner, Wendell, Asheboro and Concord, according to court documents. Within days of several of the purchases, he traveled from Raleigh-Durham International Airport through Atlanta to Manchester, England.

Steven Greenoe, alleged gun smuggler Raleigh native charged with smuggling guns

After keeping Greenoe under surveillance last weekend, an ICE agent and an ATF agent on Sunday pulled his luggage off a Delta Airlines flight to New York and found 16 disassembled pistols and 32 ammunition magazines. Documents in the luggage described the gun parts as "commercial and engineering samples" that were "inert and non-working."

Authorities charged him with trying to carry the firearms to England without an export license and with not declaring to Delta staff that he had firearms in his checked bags.

Greenoe told investigators that he works as an international security consultant and was trying to outfit his employees with quality weapons for assignments in hazardous areas, such as pirate-infested waters off eastern Africa.

Transportation Security Administration agents at RDU told federal authorities that they had found disassembled firearms in Greenoe's checked baggage on a May flight to Atlanta. At the time, they said, Greenoe told TSA officials and airport police that he was a salesman who had just visited a gun show in Raleigh, and they allowed him to proceed, not realizing he was headed overseas.

There was no indication in the court documents that TSA screeners noted any weapons in his luggage on other flights.

TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz declined to discuss the case, except to note that the disassembled handguns didn't pose a threat to passengers on the flight. Screeners alert the airline and law enforcement when they come across undeclared firearms in checked luggage, she said.


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  • Justin T. Jul 30, 2010

    I am interested to see if further investigation proves that he was equipping security personnel of if he just a pirate himself.

  • goodgod Jul 30, 2010

    Wildervb - Again, the topic here is violent crime, not murder.
    Withnailharrison - You can't really be saying that wikipedia is more accurate than google. You know that anybody can edit wiki. That would make your statement untrue. Also, you are quoting murder stats, yet when you type, you argue about violent crime. Two separate issues
    NCWriter - funny

  • homefree Jul 29, 2010

    The guy lives in England part time and has a wife over there. He bought the guns legally and is selling them in another country.....so what.Its no like he is selling weapons of mass destruction or something. How many illegal weapons you think come across our borders every year????

  • delilahk2000 Jul 29, 2010


  • tsquaring Jul 29, 2010

    I fell sorry for the Brits, but they brought it on themselves. They're better off to leave and let the country to it's own ruin. It's too late for them. Australia on the other hand...

    That guy is in a lot of trouble.

  • commonsence Jul 29, 2010

    WOW,, wonder how many guns are coming into Arizona ???

  • Bartmeister Jul 29, 2010

    can't blame the english for wanting to arm up to protect themselves from their government too
    Maybe they too can travel to Idaho and hold up in camps with their families.............

  • smegma Jul 29, 2010

    can't blame the english for wanting to arm up to protect themselves from their government too

  • Worland Jul 29, 2010

    You can go to any multi-story car park in London and buy Uzi's, MP40's, AK-47's, Lugers, Walthers, etc... illegal guns are all over the country.

    There's no need for the bad guys to shoot anyone. Victims are not armed. If someone fights back, they go to jail for assaulting the criminal. They out-lawed base ball bats in my shire since so many villians were getting their heads knocked off by the vicious American weapon. The UK justice system is nuts.

  • NC-writer Jul 29, 2010

    For all of you spouting off statistics about violent crime rates being lower in countries where guns are banned, here's a U.S. statistic for you:

    64,999,987 firearms owners in the U.S. killed no one yesterday.