Gulfport Man Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement When Purchasing a Firearm
Gulfport, Miss. – William M. Broomfield, age 29, of Gulfport, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to making a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Broomfield is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Guirola on June 27, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, plus 3 years of supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine.
On June 15, 2016, William Broomfield purchased two firearms at Cook’s Gun Shop, in D’Iberville, Mississippi, for Tony D. Crawford, who was a local area resident. Broomfield purchased a Ruger Model American, 9mm pistol and a Romarm/Cugir, Model Draco, 7.62 caliber pistol for Crawford. Broomfield also purchased three high capacity magazines and distinctive "Red Army" ammunition for Crawford.
While Broomfield gave the appearance that he was purchasing the firearms for himself, he actually purchased the firearm for Crawford, in what is commonly known as a "straw purchase." In purchasing the firearms, Broomfield knowingly provided a false and fictitious written statement to the federal firearms licensee. Broomfield knew his false statement on the ATF Form 4473 contained information required to be kept in official records and that the gun shop could not complete the transaction if it was known that the firearm actually was being purchased for someone else.
Ultimately, the firearms, high capacity magazines and ammunition were found by law enforcement officials and were shown to have been in the possession of Crawford, who is a convicted felon. Crawford was previously prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and pled guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On March 8, 2018, Crawford was sentenced to nearly 9 years in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Crawford also was sentenced to pay a $5,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, along with the City of Biloxi, City of D’Iberville, City of Gulfport and City of Pass Christian Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris.