You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 14, 2020

Las Vegas Man Sentenced To Over Two Years In Prison Based On False Statement During The Purchase of 35 Firearms Over The Course Of One Year

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas man who was convicted of making a false statement when he purchased a firearm was sentenced yesterday to 28 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Ray Roundtree of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the San Francisco Field Division.

“This case stems from the Department of Justice’s new gun violence reduction initiative,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Lying to a licensed firearms dealer and buying a gun for someone else is a serious offense. Our office will continue to work closely with ATF and local law enforcement to prosecute these crimes.”

 “The goal of Project Guardian is to reduce the threat of gun violence throughout the country,” said Special Agent in Charge Roundtree. “Our focus is removing crime guns from our communities. Part of that focus encompasses identifying, investigating, and prosecuting those who lie on federal firearms transaction forms. ATF is happy to announce the continued success of the Project Guardian initiative through this conviction and our continued work and partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.”

In November 2019, a jury found James Williams Jr., 29, guilty of making a false statement during a purchase of a firearm. According to court documents, between May 2017 and May 2018, Williams purchased 35 firearms, mostly handguns, and many of the same make, model, and caliber from various Las Vegas firearms dealers over approximately a one-year period. In May 2018, when purchasing one of those firearms, Williams made a false statement to a licensed firearms dealer regarding his residential address in Las Vegas. As proven at trial, Williams in fact did not reside at the address that he falsely listed as his residence on the Firearms Transaction Record form. At sentencing, U.S. District Chief Judge Miranda M. Du noted that numerous firearms bought by Williams have been recovered by law enforcement officers at crime scenes in multiple states.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, Chief Judge Du sentenced Williams to three years of supervised release.

The case was the product of an investigation by the ATF, with the assistance of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared Grimmer and Tony Lopez prosecuted the case.

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 ATF 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.

For more information about Project Guardian, visit https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-william-p-barr-announces-launch-project-guardian-nationwide-strategic-plan.

###

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Component(s): 
Updated February 14, 2020