BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A U.S. Coast Guard officer was convicted of operating a firearms sales business without a license, federal authorities announced Wednesday.
Matthew Keith Staton admitted to running the business despite not being a licensed dealer, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas stated.
Staton admitted to selling five Palmetto State Armory “Build the Wall” .308 caliber rifles to 41-year-old Luis Enrique Vallejo, of San Benito. Vallejo was a former law enforcement officer and was convicted after he attempted to export the firearms into Mexico with the serial numbers removed, according to the release.
“At the time of the incident, Staton was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard and is currently an E7 chief petty officer,” the release stated.
Staton faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for May 31.
Vallejo was sentenced to just over a year in prison.