DETROIT (FOX 2) - Ten people were allegedly involved in a scheme to purchase guns to sell to people who were unable to buy the weapons themselves, including felons in Detroit.
Eight people from Detroit are facing charges – Chauncey Williams, 21; Antonio Jackson, 22; Bishop Allen, 24; Donte Turner, 26; Reginald Small, 23; Eshon Rose, 22; James Jackson, 23; Emmanuel Stevens, 21.
A Sterling Heights man, Mike Chahoua, 23, and a person from Detroit who now lives in Florida, 24-year-old Garcia Moses, are also facing charges.
Federal authorities allege that between November 2020 and March 2021, Williams, Chahoua, and Jackson used stolen credit card information to buy guns online and had straw purchasers pick up the weapons. Straw purchasing is when a person who can pass a background check to buy a weapon obtains it for someone who cannot legally buy a gun.
The straw purchasers are accused of saying that they were the actual purchaser. Williams, Chahoua, and Jackson either kept the guns or sold them.
"Straw purchasing is not a victimless crime. The act of knowingly enabling a prohibited person to purchase a firearm puts firearms in the hands of criminal organizations and violent criminals presenting a grave threat to the safety of our communities," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Krolczyk
Forty guns were illegally purchased, federal officials said, and at least three of the weapons were recovered from felons.
"The surge of gun violence in our cities is being fueled by individuals who circumvent the law and supply firearms to felons and trigger-pullers. These cases should send a message to those thinking about straw purchasing firearms – you will be subject to federal prosecution.," said Acting US Attorney Mohsin.