Two Men Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Straw Purchasing Dozens of Firearms
MINNEAPOLIS – Geryiell Lamont Walker, II has been sentenced to 60 months in prison, and Jeffrey Paul Jackson has been sentenced to 48 months in prison, for their roles in a scheme that illegally straw purchased dozens of firearms over a one-year period, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, between approximately May 2020 and May 2021, Walker, 23, Jackson, 32, and their co-defendant Sarah Jean Elwood, 34, conspired together to illegally purchase dozens of firearms from various Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) in the State of Minnesota and to provide these firearms to individuals whom they knew could not lawfully possess them. As part of the straw purchasing scheme, Elwood, who at the time had a permit-to-carry firearms, would go to various FFLs and purchase multiple firearms on behalf of Walker and others, who requested the firearms through Jackson and often provided the funds in advance of, or immediately after, the purchases. In making the purchases, Elwood knowingly misrepresented to the licensed dealers that she was the actual purchaser of the firearms, when in fact she and her co-defendants knew she was not. Walker, Jackson, and others helped arrange the deals, which included a $100 fee for each straw purchased gun. In total, the defendants illegally straw purchased approximately 95 firearms, including approximately 62 firearms in May 2021 alone. To date, 18 of these firearms have been recovered by local and federal law enforcement at various crime scenes or in the possession of persons legally prohibited from possessing firearms.
Walker was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Ann D. Montgomery. Jackson was sentenced on April 26, 2022. Elwood is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14, 2022.
Straw purchasing typically involves a buyer who is legally permitted to purchase firearms from an FFL, but who then unlawfully provides the purchased firearm to another person who is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. By making a straw purchase, the buyer enables a prohibited person – typically a convicted felon – to illegally obtain a firearm and avoid the national background check system.
This case was made possible in part by investigative leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the ATF and the Blaine Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Bejar prosecuted the case.