Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to the two sheriff's deputies were charged in 2011 for selling guns to the ATF?
Submitted by: Sophia, Sacramento
ANSWER: Two Sacramento County sheriff's deputies were among four people indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2012 in a case that officials said involved the illegal purchase and sale of dozens of high-powered pistols.
According to stories in The Bee, the case dates back to the summer of 2011.
Deputies Ryan McGowan and Thomas Lu were both charged with dealing firearms without a license. McGowan also was charged with conspiracy to make a false statement with respect to firearms records. In addition, he was charged in Sacramento Superior Court with selling large-capacity ammunition magazines, and being in possession of assault weapons and steroids.
Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Lu pleaded guilty to dealing firearms without a license. According to federal court online records, his sentencing has been postponed several times and is currently set for Aug. 27.
McGowan pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. His next court date, for a status conference, is May 29. His next court date in the Superior Court case is May 22.
The two men are accused of using their positions to purchase dozens of weapons the public cannot possess, then selling them.
Also charged in the case are Robert Snellings of Rancho Murieta, a licensed firearms dealer who allegedly used his business to help the deputies buy and sell weapons.
The fourth man is Ulysses Simpson Grant Early IV of Sacramento, who is accused of purchasing one of the weapons involved in the scheme.
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