Kingsport teen arrested on federal weapons charge

Rain Smith • Feb 13, 2013 at 2:31 AM

Just six months after allegedly attempting to rob an undercover officer who had purchased handguns on a city street, a Kingsport teen now faces federal charges for possession of a stolen firearm.

The Kingsport Police Department reports Ronnie J. Hill, 19, of 228 Carver St., was taken into custody on a warrant at 12:30 Wednesday afternoon. KPD investigators say the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms successfully pursued a federal indictment against Hill, spurred by his recent sale of a stolen firearm to an undercover officer.

Hill was transported to the U.S. Federal Court House in Greeneville for arraignment. His latest charge is the result of a joint investigation between the KPD, Hawkins County Sheriff's Office and ATF, with the gun he allegedly sold reported stolen in a Kingsport burglary.

Hill was previously arrested by Kingsport police in August of last year, when he allegedly attempted to rob an undercover officer who had just purchased firearms.

The incident occurred on Wateree Street. As part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal sale of firearms and narcotics, an officer purchased three handguns from Devin Gordon, 19.

After the transaction was completed and the undercover officer began walking away, Hill and two other individuals allegedly attempted to rob the detective. Multiple officers conducting surveillance on the buy then broke their cover and pursued the suspects.

Gordon and one of the robbers — all of whom allegedly orchestrated the transaction and subsequent robbery — were apprehended at the scene. Hill eluded arrest and fled the area, turning himself in to police three days later.

Kingsport police report Gordon has since pleaded guilty in the incident, while Hill's charges are still pending in court.

Investigators say that since the August arrest tips regarding Hill's continued trafficking of guns continued to be funneled to police, prompting the federal indictment and Wednesday's arrest.

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