(STL.News) – A South Carolina man who participated in the sale of 17 firearms, including five assault rifles, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally sell weapons in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Richard Lowman, 31, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to engage in the unlicensed business of dealing in firearms. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On six different dates between May 2017 and September 2017, Lowman – sometimes accompanied by his uncle, Reginald Moultrie – met with an individual in Newark for the purpose of selling firearms. Lowman personally participated in the sale of an assault rifle on a Newark street in May 2017. During a later transaction in August 2017, Lowman travelled from South Carolina to New Jersey and transported multiple firearms across state lines. Ultimately, six firearms were sold inside a residence in Newark on that occasion.
Seventeen firearms, including five assault rifles, were illegally sold by Lowman and Moultrie over five months. Neither Lowman nor Moultrie had a license to sell firearms. Moultrie previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony and is currently awaiting sentencing.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi sentenced Lowman to three years of supervised release.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NCIS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.
The United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case with support from the Newark Police Department, a Project Guardian partner. U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation. He also thanked officers from the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Department of Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, for their assistance. For more information, please see: Project Guardian.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Kevin Buchan Esq., Holmdel, New Jersey.