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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Who Orchestrated the Straw Purchase and Resale of Over 60 Guns Is Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Many of the Guns Were Used in Shootings and Other Crimes

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Mister Tyrell Taylor, 29, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert to 120 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $2,800 special assessment, for directing people to straw purchase guns and then reselling those weapons on the streets of Philadelphia.

Taylor and his co-conspirators illegally purchased well over 60 firearms in less than six months from gun stores in the Philadelphia area. More than 20 of those firearms were recovered after being used in crimes, including at least nine guns that were used in shootings. Some of the guns were converted to fully automatic firing, some had large-capacity magazines, and some had obliterated serial numbers.

On June 20, 2023, Taylor was charged in a 28-count indictment with conspiracy and aiding and abetting false statements to a federal firearms licensee. On November 2, 2023, the defendant pleaded guilty to all charges against him.

“Philadelphia is already awash in illegal guns and Taylor flooded the streets with over 60 more,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “We know that many of these weapons were sold to convicted felons who weren’t allowed to have them, and a number were used in violent crimes. The straw-purchasing and trafficking of firearms like this directly contributes to our city’s gun violence crisis and its ever-growing list of victims. I hope that Taylor’s lengthy sentence sends a message that these are very serious crimes, and their perpetrators will be held fully accountable.”

“As this case vividly demonstrates, trafficking firearms puts guns in the hands of dangerous criminals,” said Eric J. DeGree, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “Too often we find that the guns used in shootings and recovered in crime scenes were illegally obtained through straw purchases. Buying a gun for someone who isn’t allowed to have one puts your neighbors, friends, and families at risk. It is also a federal offense that can land you in prison for years.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Alexander B. Bowerman and Assistant United States Attorney Justin Oshana.

Updated April 19, 2024

Firearms Offenses