Three People Accused of Conspiracy and Weapons Offenses in Multi-State Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy
More Than 20 Weapons Recovered to Date in District of Columbia
WASHINGTON –Three men have been indicted on federal charges stemming from an ongoing investigation into a firearms trafficking ring that acquired firearms in Atlanta, Ga., and transported the weapons into the District of Columbia for resale.
The charges are contained in an indictment that was unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Thomas L. Chittum III, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Jeremy Carr, 34, of Marietta, Ga., was arrested on March 6, 2018 in Marietta. Stephon Jeter, 27, and his cousin, Quran Jeter, 19, both of Washington, D.C., were arrested earlier today in the District of Columbia. Carr made his first appearance on March 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and is awaiting extradition to the District of Columbia. The Jeters made their first appearances today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. All three defendants remain detained pending further court proceedings.
All three defendants are charged with taking part in a conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. Carr and Stephon Jeter also are charged with 12 counts of interstate travel for the purpose of acquiring firearms to deal without a license. Quran Jeter also is charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of an unregistered weapon, District of Columbia offenses. The indictment includes a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds of the crimes.
As alleged in the indictment, from June 2016 through at least February 2017, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to acquire firearms in Georgia and illegally resell them in the District of Columbia. Carr acted as a straw purchaser on behalf of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges, and provided false information to a licensed firearms dealer in order to acquire firearms.
According to the indictment, Carr then sold those firearms to Stephon and Quran Jeter. The indictment alleges that the Jeters asked Carr to purchase several types of firearms on their behalf, including the Taurus PT 111, Taurus PT 709, Zastava PAP M85, Century Arms PAP M92, and a Smith and Wesson SD9VE. The indictment further alleges that Stephon Jeter made 12 different trips from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta and back, for the purpose of acquiring firearms from Carr. The indictment alleges that the members of the conspiracy were able to resell firearms in the District of Columbia for three times the initial purchase price in Georgia.
As alleged in the indictment, Carr purchased at least 55 firearms between August 2016 and February 2017. To date, approximately 22 of these firearms have been recovered in the District of Columbia or in Prince George’s County Maryland.
The charges arose from a long-term investigation into people suspected of illegally trafficking firearms into the District of Columbia. The majority of firearm recoveries related to this investigation took place in the Columbia Heights area of Northwest Washington.
Quran Jeter is charged with carrying a pistol without a license in connection with a Nov. 21, 2016 arrest. According to the indictment, Jeter was arrested in the District of Columba with a Smith and Wesson SD9VE, a firearm that Carr purchased on Oct. 14, 2016 in Smyrna, Ga.
Two additional defendants previously were charged in connection with this investigation.
David Stewart, 32, of Washington D.C., is charged with felon in possession of a firearm for two separate firearms he allegedly possessed in the District of Columbia. Stewart was arrested on Oct. 31, 2016, in the area of the 2300 block of 11th NW with a Taurus PT111 G2 9mm handgun after MPD officers responded to multiple phone calls for the sound of gunshots. According to the evidence, Carr purchased this firearm in Smyrna, Ga., in January 2016.
Stewart was arrested again on July 10, 2017, in the 1400 block of Park Road NW, this time with a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber firearm with a high-capacity magazine. According to the evidence, Carr purchased this firearm in Smyrna, Ga., in January 2017.
Tyrone Hopkins, 25, of Washington, D.C. was charged with felon in possession of a firearm, distribution of crack cocaine, and use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in connection with an arrest on Oct. 16, 2017 in the area of the 1900 block of West Virginia Avenue NE. Hopkins was arrested with a Taurus PT111G2, 9mm semi-automatic pistol. According to the evidence, Carr purchased this firearm in Smyrna, Ga., in September 2016.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Washington Field Division of the ATF and MPD, with assistance from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Criminal Investigator Derek Starliper of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rosenberg, of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.