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Press Release

Emporia Man Sentenced to Prison for Straw Purchasing 5 Firearms

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Emporia man was sentenced today to one year prison for lying on ATF forms in the course of straw purchasing five firearms.

According to court documents, following the recovery of a firearm from a convicted felon by the Metropolitan Police Department, ATF agents reviewed firearm transaction records and determined that Shatez Damauri-Quadre Franklin, 23, had purchased the firearm and numerous others less than three months prior from a sporting goods store in Colonial Heights. In making the purchases, Franklin represented himself as the true buyer of the firearms. However, immediately after he received the firearms, Franklin transferred them to another individual who was going to resell them in Washington, D.C. Franklin was paid by the individual for making the purchases.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia T. Giles and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael C. Tucker prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-125.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated October 21, 2020

Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses