News and Press Releases

TWO CHARGED FOR "LYING AND BUYING" FIREARMS SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aril 29, 2011
http://www.jusice.gov/usao/gan/
CONTACT:  Patrick Crosby
(404)581-6016
FAX (404)581-6160

Atlanta Woman Purchased Firearms For a Convicted Felon

            ATLANTA, GA -  AUBREY THOMAS PHILLIPS JR., 29, of Atlanta, Georgia, was arraigned today and ordered detained by United States Magistrate Janet F. King, and co-defendant DANIELLE NICOLE McCASLIN, 22, of Atlanta, Georgia, has pleaded guilty all as part of a “lying and buying” or “straw purchase” scheme to unlawfully purchase firearms for PHILLIPS, a previously convicted felon.

            United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Our neighborhoods deserve to be protected not only from convicted felons with firearms, but also those who enable felons to gain those firearms. Even one weapon in the hands of a convicted felon can mean danger for the community.”

            Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Atlanta Field Division, said, “These cases are not victimless crimes and directly impact our communities. The ‘Don't Lie for the Other Guy’ program is vital in educating firearms dealers and their employees on how to recognize and deter the illegal purchase of firearms through straw purchases. In this instance, the system worked and the guilty parties are being held accountable for their crimes.”

            According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In March 2010, PHILLIPS allegedly conspired with McCASLIN to make false statements and representations to a federally licensed firearms dealer in Jonesboro, Georgia.  McCASLIN pleaded guilty to lying on her background application for the purchase of firearms by swearing that she was the actual intended buyer of six 9 mm pistols, when in fact, the firearms were intended for PHILLIPS, a convicted felon who is not allowed to purchase weapons. As part of the ATF investigation, federal agents  tracked the location of the weapons and seized them from McCASLIN.

            PHILLIPS is charged with a conspiracy as well as two counts of making, and causing to be made, false statements and representations to a federally licensed firearms dealer, and the indictment also charges PHILLIPS with being a felon in possession of a firearm. McCASLIN pleaded guilty on April 11, 2011, to conspiracy as well as two counts of making, and causing to be made, false statements and representations to a federally licensed firearms dealer. McCASLIN is scheduled to be sentenced on the charges on June 2, 2011, before United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester.

            Both defendants face a maximum sentence of 5 years for the conspiracy and a maximum sentence of 10 years for causing false information to be recorded in the records of a federally licensed firearms dealer. PHILLIPS faces an additional sentence of up to 10 years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.  In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

            Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations.  A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

            (NEWS MEDIA NOTE: There is a brief video statement related to this case available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/press/videoindex.html. Broadcast video clips are available for selected news releases and can be accessed for download and use from the office website for a limited period. Generally, these video clips will be taken off the website within a few days to allow server room for new clips, so be advised to download as soon as they are available.)

            This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

            Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Grimberg is prosecuting the case.

            For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.

 

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