Skip to comments.What's going on with SHOT Show sting?
Posted on 01/21/2010 8:14:20 PM PST by marktwain
Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
There's been a bust at the 2010 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (SHOT Show). The FBI has arrested 21 "executives and employees of military and law enforcement products companies" for bribery of foreign officials.
From the Las Vegas Sun:
As part of the undercover operation, the defendants allegedly agreed to pay a 20 percent commission to a sales agent who the defendants believed represented the minister of defense in order to win a portion of a $15 million deal to outfit the country's presidential guard.
In reality, the sales agent was an undercover FBI agent.
And why the mass arrests here and now?
"It just happened that we had the opportunity to bring them all together at one time at one place," Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI's criminal division said.
Just happened? A correspondent who is there tells me "Our own DOJ just kneecapped our security industry."
It's too early to assess what is going on there beyond the information we have at hand, but here's my initial reaction: We've seen apparent efforts to directed at gun shows. Now we're seeing one directed by high levels in the Justice Department at the trade show of the year. Will the NRA Annual Meeting be the next convenient "opportunity"?
We're dealing with a federal law enforcement establishment that hasn't exactly earned the trust of gun owners over the years, and one that appreciates the benefits of high profile media coverage. And it's not like there isn't renewed administration emphasis on international arms trade treaties.
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
This comment may be taken as unsupported speculation but is based on observation of his attempts to nationalize the auto,banking, and healthcare industries.
Obama, Holder and Bloomberg propably collaborated on this one. These people are going to hurt gun owners as much as they possibly can before they are kicked out on their slimy butts.
Yea but the difference is that thanks to Obama the firearms industry definitely does not need bailed out....what they need is more production capability.
Nationalize? Perhaps. More likely to destroy.
Wait, I don’t see what they did was illegal. Simply making a business deal with a foreign country is not illegal unless you attempt to carry it out without the effing government involved.
I am just leaving the SHOT show. There was a little buzz about these arrests and nothing more.
The bigger problem is the number of Chinese nationals running around the show with cameras taking pictures of everything in an attempt to copy the products.
I have read several articles on the arrests and nothing makes sense about them. Either there is more to the story than what has been released or the DOJ is going to have egg on its face when these charges get thrown out.
But, then again, even if the charges get thrown out, the industry has been smeared.
Aren't commissions allowed in such foreign sales? Unless he was representing himself not as "sales agent", but rather as an official of that country. Paying a government, or even private company, employee, to do their job, the way you want it done, is bribery. Paying someone to be an intermediary generally is not.
So people were talking more about the rain & snow, than the arrests?
The story is not clear, but apparently the local police, probably egged on by the BATF/FBI, tried to get the promoter to restrict sales to be by licensed dealers only, and to provide private security in the parking lot to prevent, generally legal, private sales from taking place there. They also went to H.E.B (Texas grocery chain) who apparently controls the building, and now they won't rent to Saxet until the matter is "cleared up".
I note that the San Antonio show, one of them, has moved as well. Probably cost driven, as they moved from Freeman Coliseum to another former retail store of some sort (actually various sorts) at Marbach and 410. Not far from where I used to live in San Antonio, and likely will again, sooner rather than later. It's actually a much better neighborhood. Not that anyone ever bothers people going to and from a gun show.. for some strange reason. :)
Same thing, in the long run. For private customers in the short run as well.
hose who were indicted and the location of their companies included Daniel Alvirez and Lee Allen Tolleson, Bull Shoals, Ark., Helmie Ashiblie, Woodbridge, Va., Andrew Bigelow, Sarasota, Fla., R. Patrick Caldwell and Stephen Gerard Giordanella, Sunrise, Fla., Yochanan Cohen, San Francisco, Haim Geri, North Miami Beach, Fla., Amaro Goncalves, Springfield, Mass., John Gregory Godsey and Mark Frederick Morales, Decatur, Ga., Saul Mishkin, Aventura, Fla., John and Jeana Mushriqui, Upper Darby, Pa., David Painter and Lee Wares, United Kingdom, Pankesh Patel, United Kingdom, Ofer Paz, Israel, Israel Weisler and Michael Sachs, Stearns, Ky., and John Benson Wier III, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Many people were not aware of the arrests as they took place before the show opened.
The arrests were done at SHOT to get the maximum effect. These guys were apparantly paraded out in front of everyone with no attempt at discretion.
Why? Simple, the firearms industry is no longer toeing the political line. Years of Government abuse has hardened the industry and the Feds don’t like it.
Unfortunately for .gov, this incident has served to further harden the industry against the abusive practices of the Government.
The Government is going to find itself lacking when it comes to manufactures and dealers willing to deal with them and provide product and services.
how does one determine which companies/executives were arrested?
Unlikely. There will always be plenty of willing suppliers to swill at the government trough for a fat contract paid for by the sweat of the taxpayers. FN, for example, makes a lot more money off government contracts than it does from private individuals
The US has been working more and more with FN simply because many American manufacturers have said no to them. Now FN is in the process of kicking .gov to the curb over the war on terrorism so .gov needs new sources for guns.
Manufacturers talk to one another, trust me I know, I’m one of them. We’re getting tired of the abuse. This arrest may have been based on real evidence or it may be a political move. Thing is, it doesn’t matter, how the arrests were made and conducted has sent a message to the manufacturers. It’s not the message the FBI intended however.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
The list of executives is in post #14. It came from the main article, linked to the one posted.
I don't know which companies were represented. Although This story says that Amaro Goncalves is a VP of sales for S&W.
It also says, as I speculated, that the country that the "sting" was pretending to represent was from Africa, although which African country they say has not been released.
The story says that no company has been charged and that S&W is readly bend over and take it in the ... well you know, although they put it in terms of "prepared to cooperate fully with law enforcement."
The story also reports that sales are slowing over last year. Get out there and buy more guns!. Or least more ammo. I'm waiting on 500 rounds right now, which are backordered, so things aren't TOO slow. :) .... AH, here is the list of arrestees, with more hints as to corporate affiliation, direct from the Eric Holders boys at Injustice
The indictments charge the following executives and employees of the various companies in the military and law enforcement product industries:
Daniel Alvirez, 32, and Lee Allen Tolleson, 25, the president and director of acquisitions and logistics at a company in Bull Shoals, Ark., that manufactures and sells law enforcement and military equipment;
Helmie Ashiblie, 44, the vice president and founder of a company in Woodbridge, Va., that supplies tactical bags and other security-related articles for law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide;
Andrew Bigelow, 40, the managing partner and director of government programs for a Sarasota, Fla., company that sells machine guns, grenade launchers and other small arms and accessories;
R. Patrick Caldwell, 61, and Stephen Gerard Giordanella, 50, the current and former chief executive officers of a Sunrise, Fla., company that designs and manufactures concealable and tactical body armor;
Yochanan R. Cohen, aka Yochi Cohen, 47, the chief executive officer of a San Francisco company that manufactures security equipment, including body armor and ballistic plates;
Haim Geri, 50, the president of a North Miami Beach, Fla., company that serves as a sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;
Amaro Goncalves, 49, the vice president of sales for a Springfield, Mass., company that designs and manufactures firearms, firearm safety/security products, rifles, firearms systems and accessories;
John Gregory Godsey, aka Greg Godsey, 37, and Mark Frederick Morales, 37, the owner and agent of a Decatur, Ga., company that sells ammunition and other law enforcement and military equipment;
Saul Mishkin, 38, the owner and chief executive officer of an Aventura, Fla., company that sells law enforcement and military equipment;
John M. Mushriqui, 28, and Jeana Mushriqui, 30, the director of international development and general counsel/U.S. manager of an Upper Darby, Penn., company that manufactures and exports bulletproof vests and other law enforcement and military equipment;
David R. Painter, 56, and Lee M. Wares, 43, the chairman and director of a United Kingdom company that markets armored vehicles;
Pankesh Patel, 43, the managing director of a United Kingdom company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;
Ofer Paz, 50, the president and chief executive officer of an Israeli company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries; Jonathan M. Spiller, 58, the owner and president of a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., company that markets and sells law enforcement and military equipment;
Israel Weisler, aka Wayne Weisler, 63, and Michael Sacks, 66, owners and co-chief executive officers of a Stearns, Ky., company that designs, manufactures and sells armor products, including body armor;
John Benson Wier III, 46, the president of a St. Petersburg, Fla., company that sells tactical and ballistic equipment.
All of the defendants except Giordanella were arrested yesterday by FBI agents in Las Vegas. Giordanella was arrested in Miami, also by FBI agents.
It’s long been illegal for companies to bribe foreign officials to get contracts.
Bribe? It appears that the guy was acting as a middleman. It also appears that the FBI approached the firearms dealers and set them up. Isn’t that entrapment?
Thanks. Saw it after my post. I was wondering if anyone from a local company was involved.
That’s the key to the case. Was it bribery or consultation?
Most of these are small operators, but one guy appears to be a Smith and Wesson exec.