Updated February 14, 2019 - 7:04 am
A pair of Las Vegas men were charged Wednesday with stealing dozens of firearms from the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in January.
Jamikko Foster, 27, and Eduardo Limon, 28, worked as forklift operators during the trade show at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, according to a criminal complaint.
The two appeared in court to face federal charges of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of an unregistered firearm after authorities said they had stolen at least 65 firearms, including machine guns and rifles, from four companies — Remington Arms, LKCI, Blaser USA and Legacy Sports International — Jan. 20-29.
Both men were released on their own recognizance, though U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe restricted them from possessing weapons while out of custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip Smith told the judge that their jobs helped facilitate the thefts, though ATF agents “solved the crime in a near record-breaking period of time.” He added that the two men — who were part of Teamsters Local 631 — apparently had plans to sell the weapons. The prosecutor said Foster had a criminal history dating to 2010.
Limon’s attorney, Chris Rasmussen, said, “My client looks forward to resolving this matter expeditiously.”
Foster is a lifelong resident of the state and is married with two children, according to his lawyer, Deputy Federal Public Defender Andrew Wong.
The list of weapons and accessories takes up two pages of a spreadsheet in a criminal complaint: Remington machine guns, rifles and pistols; Denel Land Systems machine guns; Mauser rifles, Glock pistols; Sauer & Sohn rifles; and Advanced Armament silencers.
The Las Vegas office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was notified of the thefts last week and launched an investigation with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center, the complaint stated.
Silencers and machine guns must be registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, according to the complaint.
SHOT Show organizers require licensees to remove firing pins from all displayed weapons before the firearms enter the convention center, the complaint stated, meaning the guns would need to be modified before they could shoot.
The ATF issued an alert on Friday asking gun store owners to “be attentive for any individuals seeking gunsmithing services or, more specifically, firing pins.”
The next day, the owner of Gun Shop Las Vegas on St. Rose Parkway in Henderson reached out to the ATF, saying Limon, Foster and a woman had purchased a 12-gauge shotgun and magazines and asked about a firing pin for an AR-style firearm.
The men said “they were told by an associate that the firing pin needed to be replaced when it was cleaned,” according to the complaint. The owner concluded “the individuals were unfamiliar and/or new to firearms.” Limon told the owner that he worked at SHOT show.
On Monday, an ATF special agent spotted Foster’s black Chevrolet Impala, which had been seen at the Henderson store, parked at The Pearl at St. Rose apartments on Spencer Street near the gun store.
Authorities later found the weapons inside the apartments of Foster and Limon, noting in the complaint that neither had any weapons registered.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. spokesman Ron Reese declined to comment Wednesday night.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center.