Kansas Firearms Distributor Indicted

By - June 6, 2014
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A firearms distributor in Olathe, Kansas was indicted this week on federal charges for paying over $1 million in bribes and kickbacks to senior executives of the firm that makes Glock pistols, according to US Attorney Barry Grissom.

John Ralph, 40, who owned Global Guns and Hunting, was doing business under the name OMB Guns, has been charged with a single count of conspiracy, 11 counts of wire fraud and ten counts of money laundering.

The federal indictment alleges that Ralph paid Glock executives to get preferential treatment over other firearms dealers. This included directing customers to his company, and giving his company top access to the most limited guns. He also had government contracts and sales to government workers steered to his firm.

The indictment states that the people below also were charged with the same counts:

  • James Dutton., 42

  • Lisa Dutton, 42

  • Bo Wood, 65

  • Paula Wood, 63

The federal indictment states that most Glock pistols are sold to gun dealers who are independent and have contracts with Glock to resell the guns. The allocation of the guns is important, because demand often is more than supply.

Glock came up with separate sales channels for licensing distributors. One was for selling to law enforcement organizations, and the other was for commercial markets. Distributors of the commercial market products did not have any restriction to a certain geographic area.

The indictment alleges that Dutton and Wood gave Ralph equipment and software that would let him convert guns sold with the law enforcement discount to firearms sold at the premium price to the commercial market. Ralph is believed to have sold over 14,000 guns to commercial buyers, which Glock sold to Ralph for sale to law enforcement organizations.

If convicted, the crimes have the following penalties:

  • Conspiracy: Up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine as high as $1 million.

  • Wire fraud: Up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million for each count.

  • Money laundering: Up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $50,00 for every count.

It should be noted that criminal acts can be prosecuted either at the federal or state level, or both in some cases. The decision on where to prosecute the person depends upon a number of factors. Some of the most common crimes that are prosecuted in federal court are:

  • Organized crime

  • Large scale fraud

  • Financial crimes

  • Fraud against the US

  • Drug trafficking

Crimes that usually are prosecuted in state court often include crimes committed against a person, such as rape, murder or assault, and crimes involving property, such as theft and robbery. Generally, the state prosecutes more cases than the feds, but some cases only can be prosecuted in federal court, such as customs, offenses, tax evasion, treason and espionage.