In May, federal investigators informed Frank Hedden that several guns traced to him had turned up at crime scenes shortly after he legally purchased them from licensed dealers.

They said that indicated Hedden could be purchasing with the intent to resell – problematic given the Independence man didn't have a license himself. Investigators showed Hedden copies of the federal law regarding and explained that he could face prosecution, and he signed to acknowledge receipt.

Three days later, court documents say, the 25-year-old Hedden illegally sold two more handguns for $1,200 to an undercover officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, even mentioning the visit from agents to the presumed buyer.

Hedden pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Kansas City to dealing firearms without a license. He is to be sentenced at a later date and faces up to five years in federal prison.

In his guilty plea, Hedden admitted that he sold 21 guns to an ATF undercover agent for a total of $11,155 between Feb. 26 and July 16 this year. Between October 2017 and February 2019, he purchased 47 handguns from federally licensed dealers in the metro area through 14 separate sales.

During the sale in May, which was recorded, Hedden mentioned the notice and said, “I don't know if it's anything, you know, of your or somebody else. They said I had several firearms show up at crime scenes lately.”

He then added, “I knew this would happen eventually.”

The undercover agent said the guns he bought would be going to Mexico and asked if he could get more AK-47 type pistols, Hedden said he would figure something out because “I like doing the business; it's nice to come into a little extra money.”

Hedden later sold three more guns to the agent in two separate transactions.

On July 17, agents searched Hedden's home and found 33 guns (which must be turned over to the government) and a red binder with 100 bills of sale for guns – 18 of which were guns the undercover agent bought, 72 of which had been sold to others and 10 of which Hedden had purchased from others.