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Press Release

Man Sentenced to Prison for Gun Trafficking Conspiracy

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man was sentenced today to over one year in prison for his role in a conspiracy to straw purchase 31 firearms.

“Emmanuel Ndjongo illegally straw-purchased 31 firearms,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Only two of those firearms have been recovered, and the whereabouts of the remaining 29 firearms are unknown. Ndjongo’s conduct is the quintessential definition of firearms trafficking, and is precisely the type of criminal conduct we are pursuing with Project Guardian-DMV. It should be abundantly clear now to all: If you straw purchase firearms in the Eastern District of Virginia, you will be subject to felony prosecution. I want to commend the tremendous work of our investigative partners at ATF for their outstanding efforts on this important case.”

According to court documents, Ndjongo, 22, of Bowie, Maryland, and his then-girlfriend, Alexus Jordon, 23, of Alexandria, conspired to straw purchase 31 firearms from Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) in Virginia. Jordon purchased six of the firearms at FFLs in Virginia. Ndjongo used Jordon’s name to order the remaining firearms online from an FFL located in North Carolina, and had these firearms shipped to various FFLs in Virginia.

“Straw purchasing is a favored practice among criminals to illegally move firearms from a seemingly legitimate purchaser to individuals who use these weapons in the commission of violent crimes.  Today’s sentencing affirms that there will consequences when lawbreakers engage in this behavior,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Washington Field Division. “ATF and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue those who engage in criminal straw purchasing and we applaud U.S. Attorney Terwilliger for his continued efforts to curb firearm violence in the Eastern District of Virginia.”

Once the firearms arrived in Virginia, Jordon picked up the firearms and gave them to Ndjongo, who sought to sell the firearms to other individuals. Local law enforcement in Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland have recovered two of the firearms unlawfully purchased during this conspiracy, both of which had altered or destroyed serial numbers.

Jordon was previously sentenced for her role in this straw purchasing conspiracy.

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 Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas U. Murphy II and Philip Alito 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. 1:19-cr-343.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated June 26, 2020

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