WRAL Investigates

Weapons trafficking charges lodged against Raleigh native

Posted February 3, 2011 10:42 a.m. EST

— 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."