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Press Release

Lynn, Massachusetts Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Attempting to Buy Guns in Hooksett

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

            CONCORD - Jose Rafael Soriano, 28, of Lynn, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in federal court to aiding another in an illegal effort to purchase firearms, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today. 

            According to court documents and statements made during the prosecution of the case, on July 15, 2015, Soriano, and three friends, Michael Younge, Adrian Aleman and Tasha Gardner, visited a federally licensed firearms dealer in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  Of the four, only Gardner was legally eligible to buy handguns.   Soriano and Younge, with Aleman’s help, solicited Gardner to buy two handguns on their behalf.  Gardner agreed to assist and attempted to purchase the two guns for Soriano and Younge.  In connection with that attempt, Gardner filled out a form legally required for all intrastate over-the-counter handgun purchases on which she falsely certified that she was the “actual purchaser” of the two handguns, when she was really attempting to buy them for Soriano and Younge. The store never transferred the firearms because its employees became suspicious and declined to complete the transaction.    

            All of the individuals involved in this crime pleaded guilty.  On July 30, 2017, Younge was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.  On March 13, 2017, Gardner was sentenced to three years’ probation.  On April 7, 2017, Aleman was sentenced to two years’ probation.

            Soriano is scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2019.

            “In order to keep our communities safe, we must keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, we continue to identify and prosecute those who unlawfully obtain firearms.  Individuals who seek to purchase guns for felons or other prohibited persons should understand that they are committing a serious crime and that they will be prosecuted.”

            “Straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms is serious crime that often puts firearms in the hands of individuals who are prohibited under federal law to possess them,” said Mickey Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division.  “ATF remains dedicated to identifying, investigating and arresting these individuals and making our streets and communities safer from violent firearm related crimes.”

           This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the Manchester Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Debra M. Walsh.

            This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national initiative undertaken by the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce gun crime in America through, among other things, community outreach and vigorous prosecution of firearms offenses.




Updated October 12, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 18-201