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Press Release

Four More Straw Purchasers Sentenced for Roles in Beckley-to-Philadelphia Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Four more defendants were sentenced today for making false statements in acquisition of firearms. Each admitted to a straw purchasing role in a conspiracy to traffic over 140 firearms from the Beckley area to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jaleel Delaney, 27, of Beckley, Arileah Lacy, also known as “Leah,” 24, of Beckley, Dejaha Morris, 23, of Beckley, and Michelle Grim, 51, of Eccles, were each sentenced to five years of federal probation. Delaney was ordered to serve the first four months on home detention, and Grim was ordered to serve the first eight months on home detention.

According to court documents and statements made in court, each admitted to buying firearms for Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh,” who told them which firearms to buy at Beckley businesses and provided the money for the purchases. Each time they bought a firearm for Jones, they falsely certified on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473 that they were the buyers of the firearms when they knew they were purchasing them for Jones and his trafficking conspiracy.

Lacy bought a Ruger, Model Ruger-57, 5.7x28 caliber pistol, for Jones on April 14, 2021. Lacy further admitted she purchased at least six firearms as part of the overall scheme. Delaney admitted to illegally straw purchasing a Glock, Model 19, 9mm pistol on May 4, 2021, and further admitted to carrying out other straw purchases for Jones and others. Morris admitted that she purchased a Taurus G3C, 9mm pistol for Jones on October 17, 2020, and further admitted to carrying out at least eight straw purchases for Jones and others. Grim admitted she bought a Taurus, G3C, 9mm pistol for Jones on November 5, 2020, and further admitted to carrying out at least 17 straw purchases.

Lacy, Delany, Morris and Grim are 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 Jones 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.

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 sentences. Assistant United States Attorney Negar M. Kordestani prosecuted the cases.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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 Nos. 5:22-cr-46, 5:22-cr-80, 5:22-cr-82, and 5:22-cr-83.





Updated January 6, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods