Raleigh native sentenced to 10 years for gun smuggling
Posted January 10, 2012
Greenville, N.C. — A Raleigh native and former Marine who pleaded guilty last March to smuggling dozens of pistols from the U.S. to England has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Steven Neal Greenoe will also have three years of probation once he's released and must use his prison earnings to pay child support for his twin sons, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. He was facing up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
In exchange for federal prosecutors dropping 48 other weapons charges against him, he pleaded guilty to one count each of transporting guns outside the U.S. without an export license and falsifying a federal form.
Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Greenoe in July 2010 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport after finding ammunition and disassembled pistols in his luggage as he was about to board a flight to New York.
Federal agents said Greenoe, a former Marine who lived in England, smuggled more than 60 handguns through security at RDU on nine other flights in 2010 in the same way – by taking them apart and putting the pieces in his checked baggage.
Greenoe told investigators that he worked as an international security consultant and was trying to outfit his employees with quality weapons for assignments in hazardous areas, such as the pirate-infested waters off eastern Africa.
Authorities also seized weapons, ammunition and boxes for handguns from two Raleigh homes owned by Greenoe's mother.
The Times of London newspaper reported that one gun linked to Greenoe was used in a drive-by shooting in Manchester, England, and that members of British street gangs were selling other weapons.
The newspaper also reported that two men were arrested in England on gun trafficking charges in the case, and that British authorities were trying to track dozens of guns that Greenoe was alleged to have brought into the country.