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Press Release

Three Charged in Firearm Straw Purchasing Conspiracy

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

BOSTON – Three individuals, including a Federal Firearms Licensee, have been charged in connection with a scheme to illegally straw purchase firearms.

Cory Daigle, 29, of Revere; Gustavo Rodriguez, 20 of Boston; and Shakim Grant, 21, of Boston, were each charged with conspiracy to make false statements with respect to the acquisition of a firearm. Daigle was also charged with possession of a machinegun and Grant was charged with making false statements with respect to the acquisition of a firearm. Daigle and Rodriguez were arrested yesterday morning and, following an appearance in federal court in Boston, were detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. today. Grant remains at large. 

According to the charging documents, the investigation arose following a November 2022 shooting in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston. It is alleged that during a search of Rodriguez’s residence in Hyde Park the following day, several firearms, assorted ammunition and firearm components and/or accessories were seized. While the search was underway, Grant allegedly arrived at the scene and advised law enforcement that the firearms seized belonged to him, not Rodriguez, and that he had been storing his firearms inside the residence. 

Subsequent interviews, cellphone forensics, financial records and firearm records allegedly revealed that Grant obtained three Glock firearms and ammunition for Rodriguez, who does not have a license to legally possess or carry firearms and is precluded from having firearms in Massachusetts based on his age. It is alleged that the Glock firearms were purchased from Daigle – a Federal Firearms Licensee and the proprietor of Steelworks Defense Solutions in Littleton. Grant and Rodriguez allegedly communicated via Snapchat approximately two hours prior to the search of Rodriguez’s residence, during which the two conspired to coordinate a story to provide law enforcement as to why firearms would be found at Rodriguez’s residence.

According to court documents, during a search of Daigle’s residence, a machine gun barrel and receiver; machine gun bolt with no serial number; two short-barrel rifles, one with a machine gun conversion device; machine gun conversion device with no serial number; and a semi-automatic rifle were seized. 

“The majority of gun violence, including shootings and murders, is committed with an illegal (e.g., unregistered, stolen, etc.) firearm. Usually, by a prohibited individual (e.g., unlicensed, underage, precluded due to criminal history, etc.). Straw purchases are serious crimes that result in deadly firearms getting into the hands of people the law strictly prohibits from having them. We need to prosecute straw purchasers with the same zeal we often have for end users.  If the straw purchase never happened, that firearm never makes it into the hands of a prohibited person seeking to use it unlawfully,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins.  “We allege that these defendants engaged in a straw purchasing conspiracy and made false statements in forms required by federal firearms laws in an attempt to cover their tracks. That one of these defendants holds an FFL and has been authorized to sell firearms should be an eye opener to many. People who circumvent regulations and requirements regarding firearms in our Commonwealth can and will face administrative, civil, or criminal consequences by state, local or federal prosecutors.”

“When you buy a gun for someone who is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm, you could be buying yourself time in federal prison,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, Boston Field Division. “The surge of gun violence in our cities is being fueled by individuals who circumvent the law and put firearms in the wrong hands. Our mission is clear and we will continue working with our partners to stop the flow of illegal firearm transfers that fuel the cycles of violence.”

“Boston and every other major city across the country is dealing with the unprecedented proliferation of guns. It is this type of partnership that makes it possible for us to have a substantive impact by bringing local, state and federal powers to bear on those who are allegedly helping to put guns on our streets. This is good police work by our Boston Police officers and the troopers and agents involved. It’s a true partnership with our state and federal counterparts and we look forward to working with U.S. Attorney Rollins as her office guides this case through the criminal justice system,” said Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox.

The charges of possession of machineguns provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to a $250,000. The charge of false statements with respect to the acquisition of a firearm provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to a $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

U.S. Attorney Rollins, ATF Boston SAC Ferguson and Commissioner Cox made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke A. Goldworm of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated January 19, 2023

Firearms Offenses