Feds: Couple sold gun in grocery parking lot

August 27, 2018

SOUTH BEND — Selling a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot of a Michigan City grocery turned out to be a bad idea for a Michigan couple, who will be serving several years in federal prison.

Ricky R. Wadsworth, 47, of Sturgis, was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release after being found guilty of transferring a firearm to a felon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Shannon Brown, 37, from Union City, was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release. She was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to federal prosecutors.

The sentences were passed down Thursday and Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio in South Bend.

According to court documents, Brown and Wadsworth talked for several months to a convicted felon about selling firearms to him in 2014. Their efforts culminated in Brown finding a supplier and offering to sell seven firearms to a buyer who was a convicted felon. They ultimately sold one to gun, a Norinco Model SKS 7.62 caliber semi-automatic rifle equipped with a folding bayonet, extended magazines, and 132 rounds of ammunition.

The sale took place in the middle of the day in a grocery store parking lot in Michigan City, prosecutors said. The indictment did not indicate which store.

Brown has three prior convictions for possession of methamphetamine, two convictions for possession of marijuana, and one conviction for purchasing precursors to make methamphetamine. Wadsworth has 11 prior felony convictions and seven misdemeanor convictions, including trafficking or possession of controlled substances, theft, burglary, and weapons offenses.

This case was investigated by ATF with assistance from the Michigan City, Hammond and New Buffalo police departments.