PORTLAND — A Saco man was arrested Thursday on federal charges of being part of a gun-smuggling ring.

Charles “Poe” Shells, 47, was charged with firearms trafficking conspiracy, firearms trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was ordered detained Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III.

According to a report from FBI Task Force Officer Edward Murphy, Shells, along with Keith Shells, Keith Vann and Steven Steele, were involved in a gun smuggling ring from February to June 2015.

The group purchased guns in Ohio and imported them to the Bronx with the intention of illegally reselling them, according to Murphy’s report.

Charles Shells and Vann traveled to Keith Shells’ home in Canton, Ohio, and acquired the guns from Steele, who had bought them at area stores, according to Murphy’s report. They then transported the guns to the Bronx, where Vann illegally sold them.

Charles Shells was previously convicted in New York in 1999 of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, according to Murphy’s report.

If convicted of the new charges, he could receive up to five years in prison for firearms trafficking conspiracy, up to 10 years for firearms trafficking, and up to 10 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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