GA Rep. Asks President Trump to Pardon Former FBI Agent Railroaded on Gun Charges

Shipley at Barrett Long Range Tactical School (Shipley Legal Defense)

U.S.A. – -( “I call your attention to the application of one of my constituents, Mr. John Thomas Shipley, that is before the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice,” Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk writes in a Dec. 1 letter to President Donald Trump. “After careful review of his circumstances and consultation with my former colleagues in the House of Representatives and other professionals, Mr. Shipley’s incarceration appears to be the result of prosecutorial retribution, judicial overreach and political targeting…”

Shipley had gotten the wrong people mad at him. Because he came to believe a woman he had arrested was innocent, he refused to sign an affidavit to prosecute her. She was awarded a large settlement and wanted to show her gratitude, but he declined. Nonetheless, he was charged with perjury and bribery, neither charge having evidence to stick.

In what appears to be a determination to get him for something, Shipley, a collector, was later charged and convicted of gun trafficking. A firearm that he had sold to a local deputy sheriff who sold it to a gun store that “the ATF sanctioned to sell weapons to cartels and traffickers.” It was subsequently recovered in Mexico.

My personal tie-ins with Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” notwithstanding, this new development in Shipley’s story is of special interest to me because I extensively covered his story back when he was fighting for his life.

“Is FBI agent Mexican ‘crime gun’ source?” I asked in a July 14, 2009, Gun Rights Examiner headline upon reading a report in The New York Times that “An F.B.I. agent in El Paso has been arrested and charged with dealing guns, some of which ended up being used in gunfights between the authorities and drug dealers in Mexico…”

My initial assumption, that a crooked cop got caught, was challenged within hours by a trusted source, who told me all was not as it appeared. It soon became evident from that source that there was much more to the story than what the government was claiming and the media was reporting.

Shipley maintained he was a collector. The government charged him with being a dealer. Despite there being no firm-fixed standards to ensure consistent application of the rules, the jury sided with the government.

And in an unbelievable development, a full day of testimony affecting the appeal and in the custody of the court was “lost.” Add to all that an unlikely trafficker, Jonatan Lopez-Gutierrez, a Mexican national, and a prosecutorial decision in his case that screamed official coverup:

“Despite that gun being a central piece of evidence in the government ‘justifying’ its charges against Shipley, who had nothing to do with either its sale to Lopez or with smuggling it to Mexico, that .50 was not included in the indictments against Lopez and his accomplices, leading a source close to the Shipley case to conclude ‘[I]f the ATF charged Lopez with trafficking that Barrett to Mexico, the ATF would have to provide discovery materials that would prove the ATF knowingly allowed that gun to ‘walk.’”

Unfortunately, much of my reporting is either lost or will be extremely difficult and time-consuming to reconstruct. stopped operations and removed its website content, and much of that has not been archived on sites like the Internet Archive/Wayback Machine. On top of that, my own files are incomplete due to changing computers a few times, having a hard drive on one become irreparably broken, and other reasons. There was literally so much information that in order to try to retrieve it I would probably need to take a week off work, and still wouldn’t get all of it.

That said, you can get a feel for the extent of the reporting by searching for “Shipley” on my The War on Guns blog (again, note Examiner links embedded in those posts will no longer work).

A repeated criticism I received at the time I was reporting on the Shipley case was a question of why I cared. After all, the often angry challenges would continue, he was a career FBI agent, and many gun owners considered his being caught in a net the feds routinely entrap “ordinary citizens” in as both karma and a call for a bit of schadenfreude.

What I came to realize dealing with John, just as I learned dealing with ATF whistleblowers who helped navigate colleague Mike Vanderboegh and me through our Fast and Furious investigations and reporting, is that there are brave Americans whose calling to seek justice takes them on government service paths where they assume risks and put themselves in harm’s way that many of us never have to. On a personal level, I have come to believe he is a good man who, with his family, has been forced to endure long-term persecution and unjust punishment that would break many of us. And remember, he would not yield to pressure to railroad a citizen by signing an affidavit, even though that would have been the career-enhancing way out, rather than the beginning of an ordeal that is yet ongoing.

That and the reality is, if one person — no matter his background or whether you or I like him or not — suffers injustice at the hands of vindictive state officials, we all are vulnerable. It is in each of our interests to care.

“Given the pardon power vested in the President of the United States, I wanted to bring Mr. Shipley’s request to have his rights fully restored to your attention,” Rep, Loudermilk concluded. Here’s his letter to President Trump. It wouldn’t hurt if you sent him the link to this article, via The White House website communication form, or even better, by Twitter, along with the message to please pardon John Shipley.


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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The Commies are coming! ARM UP!!! GET READY!!!


How mamy years have YOU been locked up in prison because someone else decided their “trip to the top” was boosted by your trip to the bottom? The one HE sent you on? You are correct, far too many are denied their right to arms. He’s being enied his right to everyhting but his breath for doing what you and I would legally do without a second thought. I ke the idea of no more numbers. Next best would be to END the section on the 4473 that lists the firearms being purchased. That check is suposed to indicate you… Read more »


You raise a point that is not discussed as much as it should be. Instant background checks were sold on the notion that the government had to determine if people were fit to own a firearm prior to the sale. There should be no serial numbers on the 4473. The government knows who is committing the crimes and they keep releasing them (if they ever even arrest them). The 4473 was an attempt to keep records on who has firearms. Due to face-to-face secondary sales, that attempt failed, thankfully. The Universal Background Check legislation is the same thing. As soon… Read more »


And the learning point to this story is this: we are not a nation of laws. We never have been. We are a nation of political will and always have been. When the forces of ideology and partisanship place their gun sights on you consider yourself screwed. The government will simply wear you down and crush you. When the forces of ideology and partisanship concur in your nefarious deeds and find your work to be supportive of their goals you ride off in the the sunset a hero. That is how this really works. Shipley simply got caught up in… Read more »


Sounds a lot like KE Arms foudner Shawn Nealon. Trump should pardon both.


Not to disparage your opinion. But what if it was you that they did this injustice to? Wouldn’t you want people to stand up for you. This guys sounds like one of the good guys who got caught up in somebody else’s crappy deal!


We are all just one federal prosecutor’s ambition away from federal prison.


I hope he has 5 of them.


Too often career advancement, pay increase and obscene federal pension erases honesty,decency and truth telling in Federal employees. FBI at this time, is not in the best favor of the American public. 4 consecutive Directors have shown to be corrupt and biased beyond imagination.


When I was a child, I idolized the FBI. I thought they were crime-fighting heroes.

More and more Americans are discovering they lie, cheat, destroy evidence, bully people who shouldn’t be bullied, shoot people who shouldn’t be shot, investigate people who shouldn’t be investigated, don’t investigate people who should be investigated, and recommend to the attorney general not to prosecute people who should be prosecuted.

Oh, and sometimes they drop their pistol while doing backflips at a night club and pull the trigger when they pick it up and shoot some random person.


Children have innocent, simple thoughts and that is understandable. I don’t think any six year-olds spend their day “defying the master.”

Unfortunately, many Republican voters, of all ages, still view the FBI as some force of good against machine-gun toting gangsters. They walk around all day with a computer in their hand that can access all sorts of data, but, instead, they believe Shawn Hannity “99.99% of law enforcement officers are good – they are heroes.”


After having a few “incidents” involving FBI agents during my 22 & 1/2 years in Federal Law Enforcement I wouldn’t give you a tinker’s damn for any of them. I am sure there are righteous ones out there but it would be a fools errand to try to cipher them out from the rest. And, worst of all, they seem to not want to correct bad behavior in the public view. But then my group wasn’t any better in that respect. So now it is just smile and wave.

Last edited 3 years ago by RoyD

It’s a shame. There is a lot of good work they could do with all the resources available to them.

Last edited 3 years ago by JSNMGC

Well, besides having COVID symptoms starting on Nov 22 (and both my wife and I testing positive) and getting over that and feeling tired even after it the “quality” of my posts seemed to be not quite up to snuff. Also the ill will I have generally for our political class seemed to have turned up a notch or maybe a few. As such most of what I would have wanted to say would not have been beneficial to Ammoland as a site for public discourse. So, rather than be a detriment to the site I have chosen to refrain… Read more »


Well that is odd. My post above was in response to a post of Will’s asking where I had been. And now his post is gone. Very odd.

Dave in Fairfax


I see the older post. I looked for it in the trash and couldn’t find it so I followed your more recent post and there it was. Could it have been a cache setting issue?


My interest was what had happened to Will’s post as mine are still there. His is still not there. My IT knowledge is knowing where the on/off switch is. The rest is what I have two smart sons for.

Dave in Fairfax

I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t see his comment in any of the trash piles and I do see your comments.


More heroic work by the FBI. They have solved the mystery of the racist garage door pull (through the efforts of 15 hard-working agents), now onto enforce hate crimes against sign burners:

Remember that the FBI reports to Republicans.

Last edited 3 years ago by JSNMGC

These two things are not mutually exclusive:

  • Republican Senator Mitch McConnell (Legislative branch) may be inappropriately profiting from his position; and
  • The FBI reports to the deputy attorney general who reports to the attorney general who reports to Republican President Trump (Executive branch)

I have seen no credible accusations that President Trump is taking direction from the Chinese. Have you?

So, yeah, the FBI reports to Republicans.

You would have to ask someone else about how Satan and the illuminati fit into the whole thing though, I’m not really up to speed on how that works.

Last edited 3 years ago by JSNMGC

I don’t know anything about that and I’m not sure what that has to do with the FBI reporting to Republicans.

My point in this thread is that the FBI is expensive and they seem to have strange priorities. It’s unclear why Barr/Trump don’t readjust their priorities.

That’s it – that’s my point.


Well, there you have it. Now I understand why Trump is not responsible for the federal agencies that report to him.

We just need to wait for the much larger complete solution – Earl explained it to me.


There are laws against humans illegally bribing humans. I recognize it occurs and should be prosecuted.

Untangling the role of Satan and the illuminati – I’ll trust you to address. I gotta feeling you’re on it.


I am working on a project and was wondering if anyone knew of a centralized list of people that have been arrested for gun infractions like this? Or people that have been arrested for gun infractions in different states (like Shaneen Allen)?


How many millions of Americans have been harrassed, assaulted, kidnapped, and/or murdered by government thugs for exercising their 2A rights since 1934? How many of those kidnapped by government thugs received pardons? This guy should be at the bottom of the list. Forgive me if I don’t have sympathy for government employees when the very laws they enforce are used against them.