Coach linked to gun investigationPublished 12:00am Tuesday, July 1, 2014
The arrest of Opp Middle School teacher and coach Charles T. Grimes has been linked to an investigation into illegal gun sales that took place at a flea market south of Dothan, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama George L. Beck Jr. said.
According to Beck, Grimes is one of nine suspects charged with selling firearms to individuals known to be convicted felons, and one of four charged with selling firearms without a license.
According to court documents, a total of 10 people were arrested after each rented booths at Sadie’s Flea Market and engaged in the sale of firearms. According to Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fulton of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), agents seized more than 200 firearms, as well as more than 5,000 rounds of live ammunition, as a result of the investigation.
“ATF’s ‘Frontline’ strategy to reduce violent crime includes the investigation of those individuals who sell firearms to prohibited persons,” Fulton said during a press conference Monday morning in Dothan. “This investigation demonstrates the continued dedication to provide a safe environment for the public.”
Grimes, 56, was indicted in May and was arrested Tues., June 17. He subsequently pleaded not guilty to all charges and was later released on bond. He faces charges of selling a firearm to a convicted felon and dealing firearms without a license.
If convicted, Grimes faces a prison term of up to 10 years, a fine of not more $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than three years.
Also arrested as part of the investigation were:
• Richard Allen Cohen, 65, of Graceville, Fla., for selling a firearm to a convicted felon;
• Robert Arthur Chudzik II, 27, of Headland, for selling a firearm to a convicted felon;
• William Dean, 84, of Whigham, Ga., for selling a firearm to a convicted felon;
• Thomas P. Knowles, 47, of Chancellor, for selling a firearm to a convicted felon;
• Marvin T. Jones, 70, of Dothan, for selling a firearm to convicted felon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and dealing in firearms without a license;
• David R. Loftin, 64, of LaGrange, Ga., for selling a firearm to a convicted felon and dealing firearms without a license;
• Ronald D. Sloan, 64, of Cottondale, Fla., for selling a firearm to a convicted felon;
• Charles P. Sly, 75, of Slocomb, for selling a firearm to a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, and dealing firearms without a license; and
• Brent E. Underwood, 60, of Coffee Springs, for selling a firearm to an out-of-state resident.
The case was investigated by the ATF and Chipley, Fla., Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan R. Redmond.