11 Charged in a Scheme to “Straw Purchase” Firearms

11 Individuals Charged in a Scheme to “Straw Purchase” Firearms

BIRMINGHAM, AL (STL.News) Eleven individuals have been indicted on charges involving straw purchasing of firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives, and Firearms Special Agent in Charge Mickey French.

According to the 14-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court, between September 2020 and December 2020, multiple handguns were purchased by straw purchasers from licensed firearms dealers located in Tuscaloosa County.

Adrian Benito Carter, 26, of Tuscaloosa, is charged in 13 counts with offenses of being a felon possession of a firearm, engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license, making a false statement for federal firearm licensee records, and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

Chasitychampayle La’Shay Bell, 23, of Tuscaloosa, and April Nicole Knox, 30, of Tuscaloosa, are charged with making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

Rikela Denise Chandler, 23, of Tuscaloosa, and Laquetta Venea Hall, 40, of Tuscaloosa, are charged with making a false statement for federal firearm licensee records.

Timothy Neal Coleman, 28, of Tuscaloosa, and Aaron Tyrone Taylor, 23, of Tuscaloosa, are charged with making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

Christopher Jermaine Dean, 33, of Cottondale, Tyler Allen Neal, 23, of Tuscaloosa, and La’darrius Deshon Whitehead, 25, of Tuscaloosa, are charged with making a false statement for federal firearm licensee records and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

Darron Deshone Taylor, Jr, 25, of Tuscaloosa, is charged with being a felon possession of a firearm and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

The maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm and giving a false statement during the purchase of a firearm is 10 years in prison.

The maximum penalty for engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license and making a false statement for federal firearm licensee records is five years in prison.

This case is a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  s part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ campaign “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” is a part of PSN aimed at reducing firearm “straw purchases”, the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another, and to educate would-be straw purchasers of the penalties of knowingly participating in an illegal firearm purchase.

The ATF investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittney Plyler is prosecuting the case.

An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today