Crime & Courts

Augusta couple who ran beauty salon-gun store plead guilty to firearm charges

An Augusta couple who ran a combined beauty shop and gun store pleaded guilty Thursday to federal firearms violations

Jeffrey Eberhart, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of dealing firearms without a license. His wife, Tracey Eberhart, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to keep records of firearms transactions.

The Eberharts operated Tracey’s Dream Weavers Salon and Sporting Goods in Augusta.

At the time the charges were filed in August, the website for the couple’s business used the slogan “Where Beauty and Bullets Collide.” That slogan has since been removed from the website.

In his plea, Jeffrey Eberhart admitted that he bought and sold hundreds of firearms at the store and at gun shows from Oct. 1, 2009, to Aug. 22, 2012, according to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. Throughout that time, he was not licensed as a federal firearms dealer because he was a previously convicted felon.

In her plea, Tracey Eberhart admitted that while she held a license as a federal firearms dealer she failed to keep records and make reports to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on at least 33 firearms transactions, Grissom said.

According to an agent’s affidavit, Tracey Eberhart obtained a federal license as a dealer of firearms when she opened her business. She told an investigator her intention was to cater the firearms business to women.

During the application process, she made no mention of her husband. Because of prior felony convictions, he was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition. He was convicted of arson in Oklahoma in 1982 and of a felon possessing a firearm in Nevada in 1991.

On Jan. 20, 2012, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives attended a gun show in Topeka, where they saw Jeffrey Eberhart selling firearms at the Dream Weavers booth.

He was wearing a Dream Weavers T-shirt and was heard talking to buyers about guns and laser scopes. Eberhart explained to an undercover agent that his wife and female employees sold guns during the week while he and another man sold firearms at gun shows on weekends. Later, ATF agents purchased ammunition and guns from Jeffrey Eberhart, both at the storefront in Augusta and at gun shows.

Sentencing is set for April 15. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of five years in federal prison for Jeffrey Eberhart and three years probation for Tracey Eberhart.

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