Federal courthouse worker busted in ATF straw buyer sting

An investigation by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and Chicago police lead to a series of weapons charges for a courthouse worker in Missouri.

Victor Nahum Vargas, 40, of Jefferson City, was charged on Saturday for his role in selling 11 firearms to a convicted felon who was working as an ATF confidential source, the Justice Department announced in a press release.

According to court documents, the felon contacted Vargas, who worked as a custodial supervisor of the federal courthouse in Jefferson City, over a two-day period last month and negotiated the purchase of 10 firearms for $7,500. Vargas, according to the complaint filed with the court by an ATF agent from the Chicago Field Office, knew the individual contacting him was a felon unable to legally possess firearms.

While under surveillance, Vargas went to a local gun store and bought 11 guns last Wednesday which he agreed to resell to his contact for $8,300 cash. Meeting the informant at an area Wal-Mart two days later, he was taken into custody by the ATF and Jefferson City Police after the guns and money changed hands.

Court minutes show that Vargas had his initial appearance Monday and remains in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

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