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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Man Sentenced for Straw Purchasing Firearms for Convicted Felon

RICHMOND, Va. – A Chesterfield County man was sentenced today to two and a half years in prison for making false statements when he purchased firearms for a convicted felon.

“Straw purchasers are often literally arming criminals,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This poses a serious threat to public safety and the safety of our law enforcement partners. Simply put, convicted felons have forfeited their Second Amendment right to bear arms, and those who choose to straw purchase firearms for prohibited individuals will be investigated, prosecuted, and may themselves become convicted felons and therefore unable to possess or purchase firearms for themselves or others. We will continue to aggressively pursue these cases, seek to obtain felony convictions, and work with local federally licensed firearms dealers and our partners at the ATF to stop the flow of illegally purchased firearms from hitting the street.”

According to court documents, Jeremy Durand Lewis, 35, purchased seven guns for Abdul Shahid Davis, a convicted felon, at federally licensed firearms dealers in Virginia between July and November 2015. When purchasing these firearms, Lewis falsely stated on forms that he was the actual purchaser of the firearms, when, in fact, he was purchasing them for Davis. Davis then sold those guns to an undercover New York City Police Detective.

“This investigation demonstrates how firearms make it into the hands of convicted felons and onto our streets.  Anyone engaged in firearms trafficking should be on notice,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “As shown in this case, ATF works with law enforcement partners throughout the nation to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them.  If you lie when you buy a firearm, you will be held accountable.  ATF is committed to keeping all of our communities safe and will continue to follow these investigations wherever they lead us.”

Six other defendants have received felony convictions and have been sentenced for making false statements in connection with this scheme:

Name, Age

Hometown

Felony Conviction

Sentence

Cherie Elanda Wyatt, 41

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

1 year of probation

Kevin Edward Wilson, 29

Powhatan

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 180 days of home detention

Denise Michelle Sinkford, 41

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 180 days of home detention

Shanta Teisha Brown, 29

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 60 days of home detention

Evelyn Jean Collins-Chandler, 54

Richmond

Conspiracy to Make False Statements to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 60 days of home detention

Ebony Danielle Clarke, 34

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

3 years of probation, 210 days of home detention

 

Three other defendants have pleaded guilty to making false statements on firearm forms and are awaiting sentencing:

Name, Age

Hometown

Convictions

Sentencing Date

Brandon Andrea Powell, 40

Chester

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

May 31

Jeffrey Quinton Toole, 56

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

July 15

Yolanda Lisa Stone, 47

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

July 29

 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck imposed sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Moore and Kenneth Simon are prosecuting the cases.

Special assistance in this investigation and prosecution was provided by the New York Police Department and the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 3:18-37, 56, 77, 86, 110, 120, 138, 154, and 3:19-cr-13.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated April 16, 2019