A felon who claimed he was reporting on the “gun show loophole” was sentenced Friday to eight years in federal prison for buying three guns at an event in Virginia.

A federal jury convicted Josiah John Weiss, 36, of Suitland, Maryland, of possession of a firearm by a felon in March, about a year after ATF agents witnessed him buying guns at a gun show.

According to court documents, agents surveilling “The Nation’s Gun Show” in Chantilly on April 25, 2015, saw Weiss give a seller a large amount of cash for two pistols and an AR-15. They followed him as he walked to the parking lot with two pistol boxes and the rifle.

Along with his behavior, Weiss bought pistols in Virginia but had Maryland tags on his car leading agents to suspect he had committed a crime. Under federal law, patrons can only buy handguns in the state where they live.

Agents followed him out of the parking lot, but Weiss noticed he was being followed and started driving erratically through a residential area. Fearing Weiss would crash, agents tried to conduct a traffic stop, but Weiss turned sporadically and sped away before they could take action. Although he evaded authorities, agents looked up his license plate number and were able to identify him by name.

They learned Weiss was prohibited from possessing firearms because of felony convictions that include aggravated identity theft and passport fraud. He was released on probation in 2011.

Verifying the transaction, agents interviewed…

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