A Denver man who offered to buy guns for strangers on the internet gets 60 months in prison

“I’m here to help you get your guns,” Kenneth Allen Francis said in a YouTube video.
2 min. read
An AR-15 at Hammer Down Firearms in Wheat Ridge. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

An AR-15. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Kenneth Allen Francis learned the hard way that you can't buy guns for strangers, and you certainly should not make a YouTube video advertising such an offer.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, the 29-year-old Denver resident was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison after being found guilty on three charges: making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer, making a false statement to a different federally licensed firearms dealer and unlawful disposition of a firearm.

Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives launched an undercover operation to investigate Francis after he posted a video on YouTube saying, "I'm here to help you get your guns."

He also said it didn't matter whether a person he was buying guns for had a history of violent and/or sexual crime.

On Jan. 12, 2016, an undercover agent contacted Francis, who agreed to buy the agent an AR-15 rifle. On Jan. 22, Francis bought two semi-automatic handguns for an ATF informant, with "reasonable cause" to believe the informant was a convicted felon.

“Francis knew he was breaking the law. He didn’t care. And he didn’t care about the lives he would have put at risk by circumventing the law and providing guns to known violent felons, sex offenders and criminals guilty of domestic abuse,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Ken Croke in a statement. “Now he is a convicted felon also, prohibited from purchasing firearms, thanks to the engaged citizens who alerted us to his activities, a thorough investigation by ATF agents and diligent prosecution in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

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