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Press Release

Dover Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Straw Purchase Gun While On Probation For Same Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that on February 7, 2018, Jon Henry, age 24, of Dover, Delaware, pled guilty to the following three criminal offenses: conspiracy to make false statements to a gun store during the purchase of a 9 mm handgun, possession of that 9 mm handgun after having been convicted of a felony, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.  The defendant faces up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge, up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the firearm possession charge, and up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the marijuana charge.

This marks the second time Mr. Henry has been convicted of the same firearms conspiracy offense.  On each occasion he orchestrated the straw purchase of a gun, meaning that he had a person with a clean criminal history buy him a gun that he could not have legally purchased himself.  Mr. Henry’s first conviction occurred in 2015.  At sentencing in that case, the government argued that Mr. Henry was a member of a Dover gang called the West Side Gang, that he had someone straw purchase a gun for him, that he gave the gun to another gang member, and that the gun was likely used in a shooting.  Mr. Henry received a 21-month sentence for the 2015 conviction.

While on supervised release for his 2015 conviction, Mr. Henry again solicited someone to straw purchase the 9 mm handgun.  The gun store’s video surveillance shows the straw purchaser and Mr. Henry in the store together.  Mr. Henry waved the gun around on SnapChat videos, and had it with him during a vehicular traffic stop performed by Dover Police in July 2017.

Acting U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss said, “We are determined to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  Too many violent crimes result from straw purchasers buying guns for people who should not have them.  We will aggressively pursue charges against all those involved in the acquisition of these firearms.”

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Dover Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer K. Welsh

Updated February 20, 2018

Firearms Offenses