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Press Release

Another Straw Purchaser Sentenced for Role in Beckley-to-Philadelphia Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Kyla Gilbert, 26, of Beckley, was sentenced today to three years of federal probation in connection with a conspiracy to traffic more than 130 firearms from the Beckley area to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Gilbert was recruited to purchase firearms for the trafficking conspiracy, which took place from around June 2020 to around July 2021. Gilbert admitted to purchasing two Ruger, Model Ruger 57, 5.7x28-caliber pistols in Beckley on May 10, 2021, for the firearms trafficking ring. Gilbert further admitted to buying at least four firearms for the trafficking conspiracy in April and May, 2021.

Gilbert pleaded guilty to making false statements in acquisition of firearms. Gilbert admitted that she falsely certified on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473 that she was the buyer of the firearms when she knew she was buying the firearms for someone else.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Negar M. Kordestani and Timothy D. Boggess prosecuted the case.

Gilbert is among 18 defendants who pleaded guilty in connection with the firearms trafficking. Of the over 140 firearms trafficked in the conspiracy, approximately 45 have been recovered at crime scenes primarily in Philadelphia and have been connected to two homicides, crimes of domestic violence, and other violent offenses.

After five days of trial, a federal jury found ringleader Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh,” guilty on December 16, 2022, of conspiracy to travel interstate with the intent to deal in firearms without a license, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and interstate travel with the intent to deal in firearms without a license. Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on April 7, 2023, and faces a  maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-cr-127.




Updated February 16, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses