WRAL Investigates

Gun bought in Raleigh area linked to UK shooting

Posted January 25, 2011 1:48 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2011 5:44 a.m. EST

— 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.

"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.