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Man pleads guilty to selling gun to felon

Conviction is second in sales at flea market

By Sally Voth -- Daily Staff Writer - svoth@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- A second man involved in selling firearms to convicted felons at the Front Royal Flea Market has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court.

Ricky Saretta Foster, 58, of 535 Camp Mosby Road, Stanley, pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement Tuesday to selling a firearm that was in interstate commerce to a convicted felon, according to online court records.

The crime carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine, the agreement says. It says the government agrees to recommend a sentence at the low end of the voluntary sentencing guideline range.

The agreement says Foster owns Park Inc. in Luray, and will relinquish his federal firearms license.

Five men have been charged in federal or state court in connection with the illegal sale of firearms at the flea market on Commerce Avenue.

A confidential informant, who also was a convicted felon, made a controlled buy of a .22-caliber Derringer pistol from Foster on Oct. 4, according to a statement of facts filed in the case. Another informant and an undercover Front Royal police officer were there at the time of the sale, it says.

The informant buying the gun told Foster he was convicted of a felony 20 years ago, the statement says.

"'Well, you can pay me for it, but you didn't get it from me,'" it quotes Foster as saying. "'You ain't gotta worry about me, you're in the bank with me, I don't even know you. I don't know your name and don't tell me.'"

Foster was granted an unsecured $15,000 bond, according to court records.

In March, Charles William Shipe, 66, formerly of 937 Pouts Hill Road, Strasburg, but with a last known address in Charlottesville, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to sell a firearm to someone he knew was a convicted felon, and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

And, in Warren County Circuit Court, Philip L. Garr, 51, of 5128 Oakpark Road, Oakpark, pleaded guilty in April to selling a firearm to a convicted felon. He has a plea agreement that calls for him to not serve any jail time if he stays out of trouble.

State court cases are still pending against Roy Lee McBride, 76, of 646 Bel Air Ave., Front Royal, and Don Francis Simonpietri, 63, of 9503 Stonewall Jackson Highway, Front Royal, who owns a pawn shop on South Royal Avenue.


Foster should loose his license, however didn't the convicted felon also commit a crime with police present and watching?
A sting is when someone is lured into committing a crime.

I realize some might call this a sting. But committing a crime (the felon purchasing a handgun) to catch/lure another to commit just doesn't seem on the up and up. Foster should get the same deal as the felon!

Lord help us if the Law Enforcement commit terrorism to catch terrorist!

I didn't see the word "sting" used. The article called it a controlled buy. I guess by your standards cops that purchase drugs undercover should be tried?

I'm all for law enforcement.
However I wouldn't let/allow a CONVICTED FELON purchase a gun (commit another felony) just to catch someone else.
Foster obviously done his business in the open.
It saddens me that the confidential informant (convicted felon ) was used. The only reason I can think of was the felon got a deal on another crime.

Can you think of another reason? If so please set me straight.

There are to many plea agreements and deals.

Not sure where your other comment went but here is what I beleive is the reasoning. In order to convict someone of selling a gun to a felon, they have to be selling the gun to a felon (not someone impersonating a felon). Wasn't an undercover officer present during the buy?

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