Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson announced Dennis William Estes and Kevin John Webber were arrested Friday morning in Stockton, CA after conspiring to manufacture and sell firearms without a license to ATF undercover agents Friday, Feb. 24.
Estes, 37, a resident of Modesto has been charged with six counts of dealing firearms without a license, six counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of possessing a machine gun and silencer, and conspiracy to commit a federal crime. Webber, 35, resident of Lathrop has been charged with one count of aiding and abetting the dealing of firearms without a license and conspiracy to commit a federal crime.
Beginning in November 2011 to February 2012, ATF conducted a proactive firearms trafficking investigation and made undercover purchases of numerous firearms from Estes including two suspected Machine Guns, AR 15 Type Weapons, AK-74 Rifle, silencer, as well as other long guns and hand guns, and approximately 450 rounds of .223 ammunition. Webber aided and abetted the dealing of firearms without a license. Estes attempted to purchase an M-60 Machine Gun on Friday during the pre-arranged undercover meet with ATF undercover agents just prior to his arrest. After Estes was taken into custody ATF seized eight additional firearms, and alleged controlled substances. Subsequent to the service of a search warrant at Estes’ residence, ATF located and seized several more firearms.
The two appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, CA. on a criminal complaint alleging the above mentioned violations. Estes is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This investigation was conducted by the ATF, and Task Force Officers from Stockton Police Departments, and the Stanislaus District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hitt.
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating firearms violations. More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.