Gun sales involving an undercover police officer in a store parking lot in Boise have led to federal charges against two men.
The investigation began when Ronald Keith Alexander, 37, talked about gun sales with an undercover Nampa police officer who bought cocaine and methamphetamine from him in April and June, according to court documents.
The officer bought two firearms as well as firearm parts from Alexander for $2,400 in a Dec. 4 sale in the parking lot of Fred Meyer at 5230 W. Franklin Road in Boise that was monitored by agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Then on Dec. 18, Alexander and Philip Bernardino Chavez, 29, sold a fully automatic Tokarev machine gun to the officer for $3,200 in another meeting outside Fred Meyer that was secretly watched by federal agents, according to court documents.
Chavez, who was presented during the Dec. 4 sale, told a federal agent the gun "kicks like a mother," documents say.
An ATF agent tested the gun on Dec. 31 and determined its "single-fire catch," had been removed, making it fully automatic, which qualifies as a machine gun under federal firearms laws.
Alexander has a felony conviction in Walla Walla County, Wash., for robbery in 2001, which prohibits him from lawfully possessing weapons.
U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale allowed Chavez to leave jail after his court appearance this week, but Alexander remains in custody at the Ada County Jail. Alexander has a felony conviction in Walla Walla County, Wash., for robbery in 2001, which prohibits him from lawfully possessing weapons. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Bernardino, who has no felony convictions, is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, which also carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.