I-Team: Gun deal indictments - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

I-Team: Gun deal indictments

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(KFVS) - One week after the I-Team showed you what appeared to be an illegal deal at a popular southeast Missouri gun show, the Butler County man at one of the tables faces federal charges.

His name is John Rush and federal court documents show the ATF has been investigating his actions for the past five years.

A federal grand jury indicted Rush Thursday on three counts involving illegal gun sales.

Here's a twist, his older brother David, once a licensed dealer himself, faces his own set of charges.

We caught a glimpse of John Rush on May 1, as federal agents armed with a search warrant seized dozens of weapons from his rural Wappapello home.

According to federal documents, the effort to build a case against 50-year-old John Rush actually began in May of 2009. Local ATF agents report illegal sale after illegal sale, Rush allegedly selling guns out of his pickup truck, making deals even after the supposed buyers admitted to living out of state, or even being convicted felons.

"We usually go to a lot of different gun shows," said the wife who brought her husband to meet with me after making a deal with a seller she believes to be John Rush.

Also listed in these federal records, the story of an Illinois couple who believe Rush made an illegal trade with them at the Missouri Gun and Knife Show. This is the same couple that shared their story with in in an I-Team special report.

"I thought, you know, maybe I should ask someone if that is, in fact, on the up and up," she said.

The same day I conducted this interview, April 16, the Illinois couple gave their statement to an ATF agent based in Cape Girardeau.

On May 1, our I-Team photographer was there as agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives carried dozens of weapons out of a trailer on John Rush's Butler County property.

Now to the charges against both Rush brothers. John faces three counts, the first is engaging in the practice of selling firearms without a license, something he's allegedly done for years. The next two counts stem from a March 2011 transaction where it's alleged he sold to one man from Arkansas, and another who claimed to be a convicted felon.

Brother David, 55, faces two counts: selling without a license, and specifically selling to an out-of-state buyer in August 2011. In case you're wondering about the passage of time, these charges have a five-year statute of limitations.

Cape Girardeau ATF Agent Scott Martin, who did not talk about Rush specifically, had this to say about licensed dealers who typically work the gun shows many of you attend.

"In this area, as far as the gun shows go, most all the tables are manned by federally licensed firearms dealers," he said. "And they work very stringently to obey and follow the federal laws and regulations."

The Rushes are expected to turn themselves in to federal authorities next week.

If convicted, David faces three years in federal prison. John faces slightly more than 5 years and neither would be able to own a firearm.

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    Thursday, May 8 2014 7:28 PM EDT2014-05-08 23:28:02 GMT
    A Butler County man has been in the ATF's cross hairs for years, suspected of selling guns illegally. Now, authorities believe he broke federal law at our region's biggest gun show and we've got the exclusive details.
    A Butler County man has been in the ATF's cross hairs for years, suspected of selling guns illegally. Now, authorities believe he broke federal law at our region's biggest gun show and we've got the exclusive details.
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