WRAL Investigates

Weapons trafficking charges lodged against Raleigh native

Posted February 3, 2011

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— A federal grand jury has indicted a Raleigh native on 50 counts of international gun smuggling, and at least two people connected to him have been arrested in Britain.

Steven Neal Greenoe, 37, is charged with one count each of conspiring to export firearms illegally and dealing in firearms without a license, nine counts each of interstate and foreign travel to deal in firearms without a license, failing to notify a common carrier of firearms shipment, exporting firearms without a license and smuggling firearms outside the U.S., and 12 counts of 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 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.

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.

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.

Authorities recently seized weapons, ammunition and boxes for handguns from two Raleigh homes owned by Greenoe's mother.

The Times of London newspaper has reported that one gun linked to Greenoe was used in a drive-by shooting last fall in Manchester, England, and that other weapons were being offered for sale by members of British street gangs.

The newspaper reported Thursday that two men were in custody on gun trafficking charges, and that British authorities are still trying to track dozens of guns that Greenoe is alleged to have brought into the country.

“The magnitude of this case touches not only U.S. citizens but our great British allies," U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement. "Our federal firearms laws were put into place to protect our citizens; however, our obligation as good neighbors is just as important to ensure that others are not harmed by individuals who break our firearms laws."


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  • BubbaDukeforPresident Feb 3, 2011

    You'd be mistaken. Crime statistics for the period you mentioned is higher than U.S. According to the comparison of international crime statistics produced by the UN's Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, England and Wales had 9,766 crimes for every 100,000 people in the year 2000. America had 8,517, South Africa 7,997, Germany 7,621 and Russia 2,022. It's important to remember that England had a low level of gun-involved crime even before they inacted stringent gun-control laws. Statistics are funny thing - you can make them say whatever you want; especially if your readers don't bother checking your facts.

  • grumpyhermit Feb 3, 2011

    I see some statistics that say in 2002 England/Wales had
    0.15 gun murders, 0.2 gun suicides, and 0.03 accidental gun deaths for every 100,000 people, while in 2001 the USA had
    3.98 gun murders, 5.92 gun suicides, and 0.36 accidental gun deaths for every 100,000 people.

    Big differences in those numbers. I'd say their gun laws are working pretty well.

  • John Sawtooth Feb 3, 2011

    @fishon - Yes a licensed dealer would make lawful export sales, not illegally export banned weapons to the street buyers in UK.

    @avidreader - agree that the scary part is he fooled TSA at our airport(s) 10 different times. This was apparently quite a pile of weapons and he just bluffed it out.

    Sure glad I have to take my shoes off. No telling how many things could be in there. O_o

  • wralgolo2 Feb 3, 2011

    How ever did those firearms laws in the UK not stop this!!!! That's impossible, gun control stops criminals from getting guns.... yeah right.

  • avidreader Feb 3, 2011

    How in the heck did he get guns through the airport 10 times? People were really on their toes, huh?

  • umop apisdn Feb 3, 2011

    "For all of your gun-control fanatics, please tell me how 1, 2 or 10,000 more gun laws would have stopped this guy. Criminals will always find a way to get guns; hence the name "criminal". The only people that abide by gun laws are honest citizens."

    I'm not siding with anyone but this argument is the same nonsense cookie cutter argument that's always put forth. So why make anything illegal then? Also, how many guns make it to criminals started out as legal weapons? What about rifles or shotguns? You can buy those at Wal-Mart, and they're not registered so there's no way to track them. Go and think about your argument or better yet, come up with one on your own and report back to GOLO. Not only is it over used but it's fuzzy logic at best.

    Again, I'm not taking sides here, I have guns. It just bugs me when people throw out the same cliches over and over. When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns...blah, blah, blah, get r done and so forth.

  • I am not who you think I am Feb 3, 2011

    as400_guru...well said

  • sammyg Feb 3, 2011

    Well, I hope he enjoyed his life because now he is going to spend the rest of his days behind bars!