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Press Release

Man Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Illegally Traffic Firearms from Georgia into the District of Columbia for Resale

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
About 25 Weapons Recovered to Date in Investigation

            WASHINGTON – Stephon Jeter, 29, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a 63-month prison term on federal charges stemming from his role in a conspiracy to purchase firearms through a straw purchaser in the Atlanta, Ga. region and bring them to the District of Columbia for illegal resale.

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

            Jeter pled guilty in January 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of conspiring to illegally traffic in firearms and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. The plea agreement, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon sentence of 63 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. The Honorable Randolph D. Moss accepted the plea and sentenced the defendant accordingly.

            The guilty plea followed an investigation by ATF, MPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office into a rash of firearm recoveries in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas in late 2016 and early 2017, all tied to a single straw purchaser in the Atlanta region. To date, approximately 25 firearms have been recovered in the District of Columbia or Maryland that, according to the government’s evidence, were purchased by this straw purchaser and illegally trafficked into the area by members of this conspiracy.

             According to a factual proffer, beginning in or around August 2016 and continuing through mid-January 2017, Jeter conspired with others to illegally deal in firearms, travel in interstate commerce to acquire firearms for resale, and make false statements on firearm purchase forms, among other offenses. Jeter and his cousin, Quran Jeter, illegally obtained firearms from an accomplice in Atlanta. In his guilty plea, Stephon Jeter admitted that he and his cousin brought between 25 and 99 firearms from Georgia to the District of Columbia for resale.

            In his plea, Jeter also admitted that he sold several firearms in the District of Columbia to people he knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, were prohibited from possessing guns because of their criminal records.

            Jeter was arrested on March 9, 2018, and has been in custody ever since. At the time of his arrest in this case, Jeter was barred from possessing a firearm due to a previous conviction in Prince George’s County, Md. for assault.

            Quran Jeter, 20, also of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on Oct. 30, 2018, to conspiring to illegally traffic in firearms. He is to be sentenced on June 12, 2019.

            This case is being investigated by ATF, MPD, and a former Criminal Investigator of the U.S. Attorney’s Office now with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin L. Rosenberg and William Schurmann of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Jeannette Litz and Katie Cowley.

Updated April 2, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 19-41