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Press Release

Man Pleads Guilty to Straw Purchasing a Firearm

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Lorton man pleaded guilty today to straw purchasing a firearm.

“Every straw purchased firearm is a gun that can wind up in the hands of a prohibited person,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to use federal firearms laws to prosecute straw purchasers and hold them accountable for their role in trafficking illegally purchased firearms. As I recently stated, the violation is our threshold—one straw purchased firearm on one occasion will be prosecuted. I want to commend the ATF for their leadership and commitment to investigating these important cases.”

According to court documents, Daquan Anthony Poindexter, 22, straw purchased a firearm from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) in Eastern Virginia for another individual. In making the purchase, Poindexter represented himself as the true buyer of the firearm, but immediately after he received the firearm he transferred it to the straw purchaser and was paid for making the purchase.

“This investigation demonstrates how criminals abuse laws governing firearm purchases,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “Straw purchased firearms can end up in the hands of violent offenders and prohibited persons. If you lie when you buy a firearm, you will be held accountable.”

Poindexter pleaded guilty to making false statements with respect to the purchase of a firearm and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on April 10. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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 U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony W. Mariano is prosecuting 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-004.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated January 15, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian