James Samuels is not only the Kansas City firefighter with a business on the side, but Samuels’ business brought him to the attention of federal investigators in ways that other firefighter businesses do not.
As reported in Guns.com, the Feds arrested Samuels last week for “his sale of dozens of firearms — primarily cheap Jimenez pistols — through a series of straw buyers to convicted felons.” Samuels was a 20-year veteran of the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department. Reportedly at least six of Samuels’ guns were used in crimes including the murder of Alvino D. Crawford.
Crime does not necessarily attract the best and the brightest. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) started paying attention to Samuels after a known straw purchaser told authorities that eight of his Jimenez guns had been stolen. The ATF traced the original sale back to Samuels.
According to the ATF, a clerk at a gun store warned Samuels he was essentially acting as an unlicensed gun dealer, adding that “he was playing with fire and was going to get burned.” The reckless fire captain was in the habit of bringing a third party to the store with him and allowing that person to pick his weapon of choice.
The ATF began making buys through the unwitting Samuels. One undercover agent told Samuels he was planning a quadruple murder and asked for tips on how he could torch the scene of the crime. Samuels freely provided them.
“Do what you do,” Samuels told the would-be murderer. “I mean I know you got…Look, you sometime you got to take care of business. I tell people, I say listen, sometimes people make you do stuff you don’t want to do man. Do what you got to do.”
“Those who supply dangerous firearms to violent criminals are as much a threat to the safety of our community as the criminals themselves,” Timothy Garrison, U.S. attorney for Western Missouri, said in a statement. “We will aggressively prosecute not only those who illegally possess firearms but also the suppliers whose criminal conduct enables them to arm themselves with these weapons.”