NORFOLK, Va. – Kevin Andrew Staton Jr., 24, was sentenced today in United States District Court to 18 months’ imprisonment with two years of supervised release to follow for firearm trafficking. Mr. Staton, of Chesapeake, engaged in the buying and selling of 45 firearms without a license from June 2019 to June 2020 after procuring the weapons from various area gun shops. Seventeen of those purchases were from a single gun shop in the City of Norfolk, and 14 more of those purchases were from a single gun shop in the City of Chesapeake.
Mr. Staton purchased these guns to resell them illegally, falsely stating on required firearms background-check forms that he was purchasing them for himself. Additionally, Mr. Staton admitted to ATF agents that, “Guns are like money,” and that he was “buying them knowing I’m going to be selling them.”
One of the firearms Mr. Staton was convicted of trafficking was recovered in Philadelphia seven months after his purchase and was connected to a March 2020 homicide, a multi-victim shooting in May 2020, as well as a shooting into a residence days later in May 2020. Some of Mr. Staton’s other trafficked firearms have been recovered throughout the country in connection to other homicides and shootings and have been found in the possession of convicted felons.
Mr. Staton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements in connection with firearms transactions on Dec. 17, 2021.
“When we prosecute a gun trafficker, we are dealing with not just the symptoms of gun violence but one of their root causes: People who put crime guns on the street for profit at the cost of our fellow citizens’ safety,” said Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Thanks to the ongoing partnership between the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office, we have held this gun trafficker accountable and closed off one avenue for violent actors to get access to guns. Protecting our communities from violent crime is my top priority and a matter of the utmost urgency to the citizens of Norfolk, our region, our Commonwealth, and our nation. With Congress’s newly passed Bipartisan Safe Communities Act and the assistance of our federal partners, we will continue to work for a safer and fairer community.”
Graham M. Stolle, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, as well as John F. Butler, Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted Mr. Staton’s case.
Mr. Stolle was cross designated as a state and federal prosecutor in September 2021 to prosecute violent crime and firearm trafficking cases in a partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.
Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-141. Please contact Nia Tariq at 757-620-5454 for more information.