WRAL Investigates

Raleigh native pleads guilty to illegal export of guns

Posted March 2, 2011

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— A Raleigh native pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling dozens of guns from the U.S. to England.

In exchange for federal prosecutors dropping 48 other weapons charges against him, Steven Neal Greenoe, 37, pleaded guilty to one count each of transporting guns outside the U.S. without an export license and falsifying a federal form.

He is expected to be sentenced in June, when he faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

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 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 lives in England, smuggled more than 60 handguns through security at RDU on nine other flights last year.

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 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 members of British street gangs were selling other weapons.

Steven Greenoe at court Raleigh native pleads guilty to illegally exporting guns

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 is alleged to have brought into the country.

“I will not tolerate the violation of our gun laws and the victimization of the British people,” U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement.

“Stopping the illegal export of weapons is important to the United States and to the countries those weapons are destined for,” Brock Nicholson, acting special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta, said in a statement. “By stopping them here, we may be preventing crimes from occurring there.”


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  • zProt Mar 3, 2011

    "You shouldnt have to wait to buy a gun that your constitution already says you have a right to bear! The problem isnt how many or who buys them , the problem is with the way they were raised. If you teach them early how to handle and be safe you will not have as many problems. when they do commit a crime with a gun then and only then should they have to go thru any kind of check!"

    Sorry, but this logic fails me. So the problem isn't how many or who buys them? Does this include criminals?

    The problem is the way they were raised? You gonna raise 'em? You gonna stand up for abortion rights?

    If they are a criminal then they should have to go through a check? Well, isn't that what the check is for? Why are you so offended that you have to go through a check?

    Please, it confounds me that people write such things that by any standard of logic is incoherent. Maybe I'm just not "GOLO material" lol

  • wildcat Mar 3, 2011

    and yet I can't carry my pistol concealed into a bank.

    Of course you cannot do that. Then the tellers would think you were robbing them. Think for a change.

  • jones22 Mar 2, 2011


    I've been thru the training, passed the background check, supplied fingerprints to the FBI, let them snoop thru my medical background, military service records, and yet I can't carry my pistol concealed into a bank.

    The thuug that comes in to rob the place can.

    Go figure.

    If every LAW ABIDING citizen carried a gun, within a few years all the bad guys would be weeded out AND THERE WOULD ONLY BE GOOD GUYS LEFT! Basis grade-school mathematics.

  • jones22 Mar 2, 2011

    "We have a Second Amendment Right, but that is also a responsibility. "

    Please cite your sources. I've re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and couldn't find it anywhere.

  • jones22 Mar 2, 2011


    Amazing how many "educated" democrats and politicians don't know the meaning of the word infringed.

    It's time we had an uprising in this country like Libya and Egypt to re-established the rights we have allowed to be eroded little by little over the last 200 years.

  • junkyard Mar 2, 2011

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” - Robert A. Heinlein

    GWALLY, you wouldn't last son..

  • pinkiglock Mar 2, 2011

    This piece of trash needs to be made an example of. We have a Second Amendment Right, but that is also a responsibility. Arming criminals is not part of that Right! People like him may result in the rest of us losing our Rights.

  • GWALLY Mar 2, 2011

    .."Why does it matter how many firearms a person has?.."

    You got 2 hands...fill em both...You gunna skin that smoke wagon ?, ur just stand there and bleed ... Tombstone 1993

  • GWALLY Mar 2, 2011

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” - Robert A. Heinlein

  • sammyg Mar 2, 2011

    Glad he had a bit of common sense. Now...on to the other problem of how these made it through security...