A St. Paul man has been charged after he illegally sold guns without a license – some of the guns were used in crimes in the Twin Cities.
Eitan Feldman, 29, was charged with one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and nine counts of making a false statement during a firearm purchase, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota announced last week.
“There is far too much gun violence in the Twin Cities,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said in the release. “Violent crimes involving guns are often committed by people who cannot legally obtain a firearm, but they find a way. According to today’s indictment, Eitan Feldman was one of those ways."
Between January 2014 and January 2016, Feldman repeatedly bought guns from online auction sites, and then resold them online within a few days – the average time he kept a gun in his possession was nine days, according to the indictment.
Feldman purchased and resold 41 guns during that time, typically at a higher price than what he paid for them, charges say.
An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told Feldman in July 2015 that some of the guns he sold had been linked to crime scenes within days of Feldman taking possession and selling the weapons, including a shots-fired incident in Minneapolis and two drug crime scenes, one in Minneapolis and the other in Bloomington, the release says.
In October 2015, ATF agents warned Feldman that what he was doing was illegal, but he continued selling guns on at least eight more occasions – including selling firearms to two undercover ATF agents. In those sales, Feldman didn't conduct a background check or ask for identification.
“Today’s arrest should send a message to unlicensed firearm dealers who put the public at risk each time they sell a firearm to a potential criminal,” ATF St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge James Modzelewski said in the release. “They are recklessly circumventing the criminal background check system and it is a crime.”