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Gun trafficking organization dismantled

A Pennsylvania gun trafficking organization, which purchased 94 firearms and attempted to purchase an additional 23 firearms before illegally reselling them, has been dismantled


Acting state Attorney General Michelle Henry (a former Bucks County district attorney), Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub and Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, together with local, state and federal law enforcement officials, announced the dismantling of a Pennsylvania gun trafficking organization. The organization purchased 94 firearms and attempted to purchase an additional 23 firearms in counties across Pennsylvania, before illegally reselling them throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Eight people, all from Philadelphia, were arrested on dozens of felony charges related to straw purchases of firearms, illegally transferring firearms and operating a corrupt organization.

The firearm purchases were all “straw purchases,” meaning a person with a clean background purchased firearms specifically on behalf of another person to conceal the true ownership of the firearm. The true owner of the firearm is often prohibited from legally purchasing a firearm including convicted felons, domestic violence offenders, juveniles and individuals with mental illness.

Of the 94 total straw purchased and illegally sold firearms, 29 were recovered by law enforcement through the execution of search warrants related to other criminal activity, car stops or after the firearms were used in violent crimes.

Weintraub said, “After these guns were purchased illegally, many were then used by criminals to commit violent crimes. Working together, our goal is to deter straw purchases by vigorously investigating each one and holding the gun purchasers and end users criminally accountable. This requires relentless commitment by law enforcement. We will not rest. More to come.”

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