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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Big Shot In Vegas

The Justice Department’s Big Show: It arrested 21 of 22 defendants who were in Las Vegas for the firearms-related industry’s biggest annual event, in the presence of 1,400 journalists from the U.S. and abroad.One stunning aspect of this week’s giant FCPA bust was the DOJ’s stage management. Defendants from three countries and five states were swept up at the same time, all but one in the same city. The feds were like an infantry waiting to see the whites of their eyes — waiting, waiting, waiting — until the defendants had walked into the trap. It was law enforcement as art, choreographed at the biggest law enforcement-related confab on the planet, in the presence of the world’s media.

Twenty-one of the 22 defendants were arrested in Las Vegas. (One of them, Stephen Gerard Giordanella, was arrested in Miami.) None lived in Vegas; they were in town for the Shot Show.

The annual Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show is a colossal event. Founded 32 years ago for the firearms, munitions and shooting-related industry, the general public isn’t invited. It’s for professionals only and draws around 60,000 people from all 50 states and 75 countries. They come to see the 1,800 exhibitors — if you’re not part of the Shot Show, you’re not part of the industry. This year’s venue at the Sands Expo & Convention Center covers 700,000 square feet.

The FCPA arrests were bound to receive maximum attention. They happened on the eve of the Shot Show’s opening; some defendants were from well-known exhibitors. According to the Shot Show website, around 1,400 journalists would have been there — flying in from all over the U.S. and beyond. The FCPA arrests gave them a special reward — hard news to send back home.

*   *  *

The Shot Show, which runs through January 22nd, features appearances by most celebrities in the shooting-sports field — Clint Smith from the Thunder Ranch shooting school, Tom Gresham from Gun Talk radio, and big game hunter Wayne Van Den Bergh, among others. 

Wider-known personalities are there too. Mixed martial arts champ Brock Lesnar is on the appearance list, along with baseball players Willie Robertson, Chipper Jones, Adam LaRoche, Matt Duff, Ryan Langerhans and Tombo Martin. One of the legendary Statler Brothers — Jimmy Fortune — is there. So is Kristy Lee Cook, a top ten American Idol finalist.

The best-known attendee this year may be Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. He’s plugging his line of “Steven Seagal Tactical Gear” — body armor, battle and sniper rifles, and other equipment for military and police. Here he is:

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1 Comment

  1. The feds love to have an audience. If those in power happen to "lean to the left" then they are, of course going to seize the opportunity to make a spectacle at a gun show or exhibition, anything to taint the gun enthusiast character in a negative direction.
    Methods of using gatherings to apprehends groups of fugitives is old news. Often the feds have sent out notifications of prize winnings to only wait for the plane to be full (the prize being a trip to Hawaii) only to burst the bubble of the unsuspecting fugitive with the appearance of handcuff brandishing marshals. Therefore, the tactic of using a gathering place to apprehend fugitives is a tool used for some time.
    However, in the day that we live in which the 2nd amendment is under such attack I absolutely have issue with the desire to use this method as a means of propaganda to further an agenda detrimental to the US constitution. The post fails to mention the nature of the offenses, as far as I could tell. However, I believe that this stance as I present it is the point. Ronald J LaRue Jr

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