- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A 45-year-old man accused of stealing and selling more than 30 weapons has been found guilty by a federal jury, federal prosecutors said Friday.

U.S. Attorney Walt Green Jr. said in a news release that Joseph Melancon, of Lafayette, faces up to life in prison and a $750,000 fine for his conviction Thursday for conspiring to steal firearms, possessing and selling stolen firearms, and possessing firearms by a convicted felon and stealing from a licensed federal firearms dealer.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Green said Melancon and another man, Dustin Ray, 31, of New Iberia, robbed Hunter’s Run Gun Club in Port Allen on April 13, 2012, and stole more than 30 firearms. He said Melancon, a convicted felon, had worked for the gun club and used his knowledge of the business to avoid security measures.

Later with help from Jeremy Smothers, 32, of New Iberia, he sold the guns to others including David Narcisse Jr., 31, of Lafayette, a convicted felon, the news release said.

Ray, Smothers and Narcisse all pleaded guilty in the case and await sentencing.

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