ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A former Roseville gun dealer who owned a members-only gun club in the city was sentenced to four years in prison for aggravated identity theft and the illegal sale of firearms by a federally licensed dealer in violation of state law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.
Joseph John Deaser IV, 51, was found to have used the personal information of six peace officers to conduct at least 50 straw purchases of new off-roster firearms, which are firearms not on the state’s list of guns approved for sale to the general public, between December 2014 and April 2018.READ MORE: More Than 70 People Stuck In Powerhouse As Wildfire Burns Near Jackson
Deaser gained the officers’ personal information through legitimate gun transactions, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said. An exemption allows licensed dealers like Deaser to sell off-roster guns to peace officers. Deaser used the officers’ identities to complete and sign federal and state firearm transaction forms to complete the purchases of off-roster weapons and sell them to members of his private gun club.READ MORE: Man Punches California Father, Child In Suspected Anti-Asian Bias Crime In Portland
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said he used his middle finger to place fingerprints on the transaction forms in the box designated for the purchaser’s right thumbprint.
Deaser pleaded guilty in May 2019.MORE NEWS: Person Found Safe After Raft Deflates On American River
“Circumventing California law to illegally sell firearms by using the identities of peace officers in order to make a profit is a crime that violates the public’s trust and puts the safety of Californians at risk,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Successful cooperation with our law enforcement partners has put an end to this scheme and brought resolution to this case.”