Orlando's black gun store owner is heading to prison
The only black man in Orlando who owned a gun store is headed to federal prison – for a long time.
Junior Joseph, who formerly owned Global Dynasty Corps on Edgewater Drive in Lockhart, earlier this month was convicted of smuggling guns into Haiti.
Joseph, who achieved the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Marines and served combat tours overseas, is facing up to 20 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.
This turn of events is stunning to those who remember Joseph as a by-book-businessman. He taught marksmanship; firearms safety, and trained hundreds of locals to receive concealed-weapons permits and state security guard licenses.
Federal prosecutors said Junior Joseph and his brother Jimy Joseph conspired to smuggle more than 150 military-grade rifles, shotguns, pistols, plus thousands of rounds of ammunition and other gear -- including body armor -- into Haiti.
The feds said the weapons stash was discovered three years ago hidden in a box truck that shipped to Haiti aboard a freighter that sailed from South Florida.
The weapons deal involved several ranking Haitian government officials, including Haiti Sen. Herve Fourcand; Haiti’s former police chief Godson Orelus; police commander Vladdimir Paraison, and others.
Even retired Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary made a cameo appearance in the case. Joseph contacted Beary three years ago in his capacity as a business-development director for a company that supplies body armor. Joseph inquired about buying a quantity of body armor. A company official told Joseph he would need a special license to send the gear to Haiti.
As a gun store owner Joseph had federal firearms dealers licenses that allowed him to buy, sell and ship firearms and other military/security gear. Special government authority is required for shipping such products to Haiti, which has been in a state of economic, social and political unrest for decades.
Violence has been a serious problem on the island.
Joseph went through government channels to get permission to ship the weapons, but his request was denied.
Junior Joseph’s lawyer argued in court that Jimy Joseph – not Junior – was responsible for smuggling the truck with the guns into Haiti – where it was intercepted by customs authorities, according to media reports.
However, prosecutors presented electronic messages that they said were sent by Junior Joseph to people in Haiti. They said the messages showed that Junior Joseph was involved in the weapons smuggling, according to the reports.
The jury only deliberated for an hour before they returned with a guilty verdict on Feb. 1. Junior Joseph was immediately taken into custody and held for sentencing that is scheduled for mid-April.