Even if you bought it new from a local shop, your gun might have an ugly past.
A former Glock executive was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison yesterday after an FBI investigation uncovered a scheme that found he was selling guns meant for law enforcement officials to the general public.
According to a federal indictment, Welcome D. “Bo” Wood, a former sales manager for the gun manufacturer’s Eastern Region, was taking bribes from an independent firearms distributor in Kansas. In return, Wood would supply the distributor with a tier of weapons marked for sale to law enforcement—which go for a lower price, since agencies usually buy guns in bulk and are usually subjected to a bidding process.
Wood and another co-defendant got nearly $1 million in bribes and kickbacks, the indictment states. (Wood's wife also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for her role in concealing the funds received from the scam. She was sentenced to a year and a day.)
On the consumer end of the market, court Wood helped provide the distributor "with the equipment and software" that would convert the discounted weapons meant for law enforcement into ones that could be sold on the commercial market at a regular retail price.
It wasn't just about prices, though. The pistols that are marked for law enforcement come with three magazines, as opposed to the two that are sold to the general public. Between 2003 and 2011, when the scheme was underway, the FBI estimates that "at least 14,000" of these guns were sold and are now in the hands of private gun owners across the country.
In many cases, the FBI adds, the extra magazines were "removed and sold separately, allowing for extra revenue and profit."
The case is only the most recent legal headache for the gun manufacturer, which has been the source of multiple investigations, lawsuits, and even assassination attempts involving company executives over the years. In a write-up on a recent federal lawsuit filed against the company, The Daily Beast claimed alleged company is "run like the mob." (A call to Glock for comment was not immediately returned.)
Even so, the case against Wood was a continuation of legal action taken by Glock itself in 2012. Wood was fired from his position at the company in 2011 after the company caught wind of the scam.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.