News Updates


Sabre published this press release in response to the BATFE raid …

NASHVILLE, Tenn., February 17, 2010 – Sabre Defence Industries LLC, an established manufacturer of firearms and weapon systems to the United States military, state and local law enforcement, and worldwide commercial markets, is fully cooperating with federal agents in an ongoing investigation into potential criminal misuse of certain non-saleable firearms produced by Sabre and purchased by some its employees. Sabre has received information that employee(s) involved in inventory control may have obtained and re-sold some items without appropriate licenses. Sabre is and has been cooperating with federal agents in this investigation.

[ Thanks to Ray for the link ].

A US judge doubts there was a single conspiracy in arms dealing bribery case where 22 people, include a S&W executive, were arrested. Reuters reports

“I read all 16 indictments and I didn’t see it,” U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said during a hearing on Wednesday. “I have zero sense that there was an omnibus grand conspiracy.”

While many of those charged worked for different companies, the common theme running through the indictments is that they all believed they were bribing an African defense minister as part of a $15 million business deal.

The sting operation produced voluminous evidence, including some 5,287 taped phone calls, more than 800 hours of video and audio recordings and 231 recordings of meetings between undercover agents and the defendants, according to prosecutors.

Defense Review has just published an article about the above two news items.

The DOJ has unsealed the indictment against Viktor Bout aka. The Merchant of Death. From the Department of Justice press release

The indictment unsealed today charges Bout and Chichakli with nine individual offenses:

Count one: Conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act;

Count two: Money laundering conspiracy;

Count three: Wire fraud conspiracy; and

Counts four through nine: Wire fraud.

If convicted, Bout and Chichakli face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of counts one through nine. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III.

The charges unsealed today were the result of the close cooperative efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the DEA, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Department of State.

These charges are all very fine but he is currently out of reach in a Thai maximum security prison. Both Russia and the United states are trying to get their hands on him. Personally, I think Russia is going to get him. I reckon they want him to shut up more than the DOJ want him to talk.

[ Many thanks to Ray, Defense Review for emailing me the link. ]

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Jim

    The law seems fair, and anyone who violated it indeed deserves to be punished. I wonder why there was cross-company dealing in this pseudo-Afri-Minister sting? Why didn’t S&W just want to supply all the weapons itself? Did it let other companies in on the deal? Or did the Minister go around to multiple companies?

    I’m also slightly concerned by the amount of wiretap evidence they have, particularly since I’m writing a paper on that right now. How in the hell could they accumulate so much evidence?

  • Maigo

    Okay, I guess we can give the BATFE a pass on the Saber Defence raid

  • Lance

    Im glad the company as a whole is ok. Hope they nail the perp.

  • John T

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the Tennessee law of not needing BAFT Paperwork for weapons made in Tenn, that stay in Tenn.

    “…Sabre has received information that employee(s) involved in inventory control may have obtained and re-sold some items without appropriate licenses…”

    Or, it could be internal theft.

  • jdun

    A lot of people are probably piss at the Thai for arresting him. I think all the major powers wants Viktor Bout to shut up. They were his customers at one time or another. His service, experience, and contacts is going to be very hard to replace in the clandestine community.

  • jdun

    Jim,

    The sting was probably a multi year operation. Someone ratted them out or open their mouth too much to get the attention of the Feds.