A military veteran from Wheeling, W.Va., was sentenced to five years of probation this morning for illegally shipping guns to Israel, Canada and elsewhere.
Michael Frank, 26, admitted in January that he sold 24 weapons to foreign customers. The U.S. attorney's office had argued that he deserved at least four years in prison while his lawyer asked for leniency.
The case began in May 2012 after authorities in Jerusalem intercepted a package that contained part of a semi-automatic pistol with the serial number obliterated, along with three ammo magazines, hidden inside a stereo speaker.
The package bore a return address for a "Jason Silvers" in Wheeling Island.
Interpol contacted federal agents in Pittsburgh, who determined that the address and name were fake and that Jason Silvers was Mr. Frank, who ran "Indoor Garage Sales" in Wheeling.
Homeland Security agents and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered that Mr. Frank had been buying guns throughout the Ohio Valley and selling them to customers in the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada and other countries.
When agents raided his house, they found a loaded Bushmaster rifle, a bulletproof vest, a ballistic helmet and face shield, stun guns and brass knuckles.