Man Charged With Stealing Firearms And Parts From The ATF

    firearm parts stolen from the ATF

    Image from

    The Journal reported that 52 year old, Christopher Yates has been arrested and charged with stealing a firearm and firearm parts from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE/ATF). The thefts reportedly took place at an ATF facility in West Virginia.

    From a complaint filed by ATF Special Agent Seth Cox on 28 February:

    Investigation and intelligence reveals that Yates travelled from West Virginia to Maryland to sell the ATF firearm parts for financial gain. Yates wilfully and knowingly did steal firearm slides and firearm parts of a value exceeding $1,000.

    Man charged with stealing firearm parts

    Suspect Christopher Yates

    On February 27, Yates had admitted to the ATF that he’d taken government property and transferred them to another party in Maryland on February 25. The court records showed that “Yates further stated that he did not request authorization from anyone at ATF to remove the firearm slides and parts from the ATF facility nor did he have permission to re-sell them.”

    The Journal also reported that on March 1, Yates had given consent for the ATF to search his vehicle. A second complaint filed on Yates read, “SA Cox conducted a search of the vehicle and yielded a firearm concealed in a book bag on the front passenger seat floorboard.” The pistol in question was a FN Five-Seven pistol that was listed as “disposed” from the ATF’s National Firearms Act Division in August of 2017. The pistol was test fired and found to be functional. It was not clear when the pistol was stolen.

    Yates charged with possession of stolen pistol

    FN Five-Seven pistol. Image from

    Other than [pistol] slides being specifically mentioned as some of the parts taken, it’s not clear what other types of firearm parts were stolen. It’s also not clear if Yates worked directly for the ATF, however, that’s the most likely answer since he is being charged with stealing the parts himself instead of just being in possession of them. Yates was being held without bond but was scheduled to appear in court on March 6 for a bond revocation hearing. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for March 19 and 20 according to The Journal.


    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail DOT com.