WRAL Investigates

Gun bought in Raleigh area linked to UK shooting

Posted January 25, 2011
Updated January 26, 2011

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— A gun that British authorities say was bought in the Raleigh area and smuggled overseas was used in a drive-by shooting last fall in Manchester, England, according to The Times of London newspaper.

The gun was among five that British authorities have recovered from at least 60 were allegedly brought into that country illegally by Steven Neal Greenoe, a Raleigh native and former Marine.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Greenoe in July at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on charges that he was taking firearms overseas without an export license and that he didn't declare to airline workers that he had weapons in his checked bags.

He is being held without bond in the Pitt County jail until his trial, which is scheduled for March.

Federal agents said Greenoe smuggled handguns through security at RDU on 10 flights last year. After British authorities investigating illegal gun sales tipped federal agents off to a possible link to Greenoe, authorities found ammunition and disassembled pistols in his luggage as he was about to board a flight to New York.

British authorities said Greenoe was selling 9 millimeter semiautomatic handguns in England, the Times of London reported. They told the newspaper that dozens of weapons are still unaccounted for.

Bill repeals local permit for pistols Gun bought in Raleigh linked to UK shooting

"The authorities are very concerned that they may have fallen into the hands of criminal gangs or even terrorists," Stuart Flinders, a reporter with the BBC in Manchester, told WRAL News on Tuesday.

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 the pirate-infested waters off eastern Africa.

The case raises questions about airport security both in the U.S. and U.K, Flinders said.

"It's certainly a question that needs to be asked of Manchester, whether or not that's a system that needs to change," he said.

ICE, ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh continue to investigate the case. Federal authorities recently seized weapons, ammunition and boxes for handguns from two Raleigh homes owned by Greenoe's mother.

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  • knockitoff Jan 26, 2011

    if he had the legal resident documentation, gum permit and military papers to buy legally....then thats all he needed, if he bought illegally...shame on the twit that sold it to him!

  • jscletsplay1002002 Jan 26, 2011

    My question is (unless I just missed it) were the guns bought here by him legally? and his crime would be smuggeling them across boarders (etc)

    or are they guns bought underground(illegally)?? Which he would then be criminally buying them and transporting them, more charges. I would then look at him being totaly illegal and doing something suspicious with the guns once overseas.

    If he bought them legally, I could beleive his story more, and wouldnt thing the worse of his intentions.

  • dixieboy Jan 26, 2011

    Grimreaper- Well said.

  • grimreaper Jan 25, 2011

    Just proof that criminals get them regardless of how many laws you have. Really, its comical. He smuggles that many handguns through airports in New York into England which has had a ban on guns for 50+ years. TSA is blind and useless.

  • Worland Jan 25, 2011

    When I lived in the UK, the Average Joe couldn't afford to follow the laws required to own a gun. But, you could buy a full auto Uzi or AK-47 in any multi-story car park in London no questions asked. Ammo was hard to get, though.

  • blasernj Jan 25, 2011

    @saturn5 - I think the TSA's main goal is to keep guns and other weapons from coming onto planes in carry ons where they would be accessible during the flight and could create a hijacking situation. Guns coming and going in checked luggage is more of customs' job.

  • saturn5 Jan 25, 2011

    The TSA did such a good job keeping weapons off the planes.
    It makes the grope searches and irradiation scans so much more tolerable knowing weapons are getting on the planes anyway.