NORFOLK, Va. - A former college football player has been sentenced for firearm trafficking.
24-year-old Kevin Andrew Staton Jr., of Chesapeake, was sentenced Wednesday in United States District Court to 18 months in prison with two years of supervised release following release. Officials say he was a two-time All-American college football player.
According to officials, Staton engaged in the buying and selling of 45 firearms without a license from June 2019 to June 2020 after getting the weapons from various area gun shops.
They say seventeen of those purchases were from a single Norfolk gun shop and 14 more of those purchases were from a single gun shop in Chesapeake.
Officials say Staton purchased these guns to resell them illegally, falsely stating on required firearms background-check forms that he was purchasing them for himself. This is known as straw purchasing.
Staton admitted to ATF agents that, “Guns are like money,” and that he was “buying them knowing I’m going to be selling them.”
One of the firearms he was convicted of trafficking was recovered in Philadelphia seven months after his purchase and was connected to a March 2020 homicide, a multi-victim shooting in May 2020, as well as a shooting into a residence days later in May 2020.
Officials say some of the other trafficked firearms have been recovered throughout the country in connection to other homicides and shootings and have been found in the possession of convicted felons.
Staton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements in connection with firearms transactions in December 2021.
His attorney provided us with the following statement during that time:
Kevin Staton unfortunately exploited a firearm purchasing system in Virginia, which prior to the enactment of legislation last year permitted unlimited handgun purchases by an individual monthly.
Kevin never intended to put guns in the hands of individuals that would use them in crimes.
He has no prior involvement with law enforcement and many of his firearm purchases were lawful.
He is extremely remorseful and has accepted full responsibility for any false statement he made on ATF firearm forms , as to the intended transferee of firearms purchased.