05/31/2017, South Carolina
A 21-year-old man and his 23-year-old girlfriend from Lancaster, South Carolina will both serve time in federal prison for straw purchasing. The girlfriend was instructed to buy a handgun and ammunition for a third party and then report the gun stolen. The case was prosecuted through Project CeaseFire, a federal, state and local initiative to crack down on firearms trafficking.
05/03/2017, California and Nevada
Two Oakland men and six Nevada residents, including women, are facing charges in federal court in Oakland of conspiring in the illegal sales of guns transported from Nevada to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Two Oakland men are accused of traveling to Reno, Nevada to pick up guns bought by local Nevada accomplices and then returning to Oakland to sell the firearms to Bay Area residents for cash or drugs.
The Oakland men have also been charged with the armed robbery of an Oakland gas station in 2015.
Other charges include conspiring to deal in firearms without a license, 54 counts of selling guns without a license in 2015 and 2016 and two counts of interstate travel to promote illegal firearms sales in 2016.
04/12/2017, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
A 28-year-old New York mother was fined $1,200 and sentenced to prison for her role in the straw purchase of 16 guns.
She and a male friend persuaded another woman to buy guns for them and lie on federal gun purchase forms. Her motivation–she needed the money.
In straw purchases, a person buys weapons for another person who is not permitted to possess firearms.
The guns were straw purchased at a gun store and gun shows in Harrisburg and Montgomery Counties in PA.
When first questioned about the guns, one of the female suspects said she purchased guns because she always wanted to collect them. But when she couldn’t produce them for police, she changed her story and said they were missing and must have been stolen.
A 35-year-old unemployed mother of 4 on probation for DUI is facing a minimum of five years in prison for straw purchasing 9 guns between 2012-2013. She purchased them for her nephew–who was then was gunned down and killed in 2015.
Only 5 out of the 9 guns have been recovered. 4 are still out on the streets.
“We know that the vast majority of the illegal guns on the streets used for violence and crime are a result of straw purchases,” said District Attorney John J. Whelan in a news release.
Four people allegedly tied to a north Minneapolis street gang embroiled in a turf war are being indicted with conspiracy built around their use of illegal firearms in a series of shootings last year, according to federal charges.
In a novel strategy aimed at building federal cases against Twin Cities street gangs, investigators went after guns used by Tre Tre Crips members during drug deals or feuds with rival factions.
Among those indicted was a female “straw purchaser” who — unlike her co-conspirators — was able to buy firearms because she had no prior felony conviction.
The woman straw purchased two semi-automatic pistols from a Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in May and June 2016. In one case, investigators linked one of the weapons to a shooting in north Minneapolis committed just a day after the June purchase, according to charges.
03/06/2017, New Hampshire
A Boston man with a criminal record paid two New Hampshire residents, one man and one woman, $200 to lie on federal paperwork to purchase Glocks meant for him. The pair purchased a Glock 26 9mm subcompact with three 17-round magazines and a Glock 23 .40 S&W with an extended 22-round magazine and seven boxes of ammunition from a New Hampshire gun store in 2016. All three defendants traveled to the gun shop together during the sale. The Boston man showed the straw buyers pictures of the guns he wanted while he remained in the car during the sales.
The plan drew attention from authorities when police in Massachusetts recovered the Glock 23 at the scene of a shooting. A trace led officials to the New Hampshire woman who originally told investigators she had bought the handgun for protection and it had subsequently been stolen but not reported. After being advised the gun was recovered after a shooting, the woman changed her story and told authorities she bought the gun in collusion with the Massachusetts man. She provided investigators with text messages and photographs exchanged around the time of the straw purchase. She now faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
A Chicago woman straw purchased handguns for a convicted felon, handed the guns over to her accomplice, and then falsely reported that the guns had been stolen. She’s being held on $50,000 bail.
A 23-year-old Virginia woman was involved in straw purchasing 2 AR-15 rifles from 2 Richmond gun stores. She was caught texting her accomplice from the register of one of the stores before she signed paperwork falsely claiming the gun was for her. She will be tried in April for her role. If convicted, she will likely have a permanent felony record.
02/24/2017, South Carolina
A 26-year-old woman was convicted of straw purchasing a gun for a friend of her boyfriend. She said she was given directions to the gun store and shown a photo of the kind of gun she was instructed to buy. She bought the gun and ammunition and transferred it to the friend. The gun was later found in the hands of a convicted felon. The woman’s boyfriend suggested she wait a few days before reporting the gun “lost” in case their friend “did something bad with it.”
A 23-year-old woman has been charged with straw purchasing 2 handguns for her boyfriend. According to police, the woman knew her boyfriend was ineligible to purchase guns himself because he had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Police discovered the weapons when they responded to a domestic disturbance between the woman and the boyfriend.
At least one woman was involved in an extensive gun trafficking ring in Pennsylvania. The guns were used in armed robberies and other violent crimes. One transaction was negotiated in a text conversation between the ringleader and a 14-year-old buyer.
A 21-year-old woman was arrested for straw purchasing an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle near Richmond, VA. She was arrested with a male co-defendant also charged with straw purchasing. The relationship between the man and the women was not made public at the time of arrest.
A Wisconsin woman who repeatedly lied to buy guns for criminals has pled guilty to federal straw buyer charges.
She told investigators that she had purchased at least 10 guns for others starting in 2014 after police traced three crime scene firearms to her.
The woman told ATF agents she was a longtime crack cocaine addict and admitted to buying guns for her boyfriend who she knew was a felon and unable to legally purchase or possess guns, and others for a drug dealer she knew in Milwaukee.
She told ATF agents she bought most of the guns online and had them delivered to federally licensed firearm dealers where she could pick them up after filling out the required paperwork.
A 35-year-old woman from Mexico ran a straw purchasing ring that acquired 27 assault rifles and pistols and shipped them back to members of a drug cartel in Mexico. The woman paid between $150 and $400 for each firearm. She was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison.
A 23-year-old woman was among several people charged in connection with buying firearms for prohibited people. The practice, known as a straw purchase, is a popular way for dangerous criminals to get their hands on guns, police say. The guns were found at shooting scenes, in a traffic stop, after a foot chase and at a drug house. One of the guns was found by Omaha police officers where a junior high school student was shot to death in September 2014.
A press aide to Philadelphia’s District Attorney is being investigated for straw buying an AK-47 for her boyfriend.
A Texas woman was arrested as part of international gun trafficking organization. She stated that she was paid $800 to purchase firearms for someone who currently resides in Mexico. She was allowed to keep the change from her firearms purchase as payment for straw purchasing, according to the criminal complaint.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Garcia, who remains in federal custody
A 31-year-old woman was arrested for lying on federal firearm purchase form, claiming the gun was for her use. The gun was later used in a shooting in the parking lot of Club Blu. The gun killed an 18-year-old star basketball student and a 14-year-old who died at the scene. Twelve other people were injured, including 4 young girls under the age of 16.
A Harrisburg woman testified that she bought a pistol for her boyfriend two weeks before police say he committed an armed robbery and then shot at a city cop during a car chase. She is serving a 6-month house arrest sentence after pleading guilty to making an illegal “straw” purchase of the gun: buying the weapon for someone else. She said she bought the pistol at the Harrisburg Mall one month after meeting the man at a nightclub. She said he used her cell phone to take a picture of the pistol he wanted in a display case and gave her $300 to buy the gun.
06/02/2016, New York
A joint investigation between the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms resulted in the arrest of a 45-year-old man and 48-year-old woman accused of engaging in a straw purchase.
The man attempted to buy guns at an estate sale but failed the mandatory background check.
He then persuaded the woman to purchase the weapons and took possession of the guns without going through the proper authorities.
The man was charged with 4 felony counts of criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon and the woman was arrested for unlawful private sale of a firearm.
A federal grand jury handed down charges to two people from northeast Ohio for the straw purchase of firearms. A 26-year-old man and 32-year-old woman were indicted on three counts for their connection with lying on federal background check forms.
According to the indictment, the woman said she was the actual buyer of a Jimenez Arms 9mm pistol when she bought it from a gun dealer. The gun was intended for the man who had been convicted of a felony in 2011.
05/23/2016, New York
Sheriff’s deputies said a 66-year-old man attempted to buy a shotgun from a store, but refused to complete a required ATF form for a federal background check. Store employees would not allow him to purchase the weapon.
Several days later, a woman walked into the store and asked to buy the same weapon.
The store owner became suspicious when he saw the woman was riding inside the same vehicle the man had driven to the store earlier.
The owner called deputies, who went to who arrested the man. Deputies found a loaded sawed-off shotgun inside his house.
05/23/2016, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Woman pled guilty to to straw purchasing a gun for her boyfriend as part of a gun trafficking ring. The boyfriend-girlfriend team then transferred the gun to a third party who had been involved in multiple shootings.
Pennsylvania man used his girlfriend to funnel a .380-calibr gun to a felon with a long rap sheet.
A twenty-nine year old woman pled guilty to straw purchasing a handgun that ended up with a man now serving nine-20 years for aggravated assault, possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and multiple crimes in Pottstown.
When questioned about the gun, the woman said she sold it to a friend because she needed rent money.
The handgun used to shoot a Milwaukee police officer was purchased by a Milwaukee woman 27 days earlier from The Gander Mountain store.
According to the search warrant, police suspect the gun might have been a “straw purchase,” in which a person who can’t legally buy a firearm convinces someone else to buy the gun for them.
The shooter was a convicted felon and was barred from owning a gun.
The woman who bought the gun is not in custody and hasn’t been charged with a crime.
A Harrisburg, PA couple has been charged with conspiring in the illegal straw purchase of an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle during a gun show at the Farm Show Complex.
The husband picked out the rifle from a licensed vendor. His wife filled out paperwork claiming to be the purchaser even though the husband would actually possess the gun.
Both were charged in U.S. Middle District court with conspiracy to make a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm. The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
The 23-year-old wife of convicted trafficker straw purchased 6 guns in 5 separate transactions at the same gun store. “At the urging of her husband, [his wife] knowingly lied during each purchase, stating she was the actual buyer of the firearms.” The guns were used in Minneapolis-area shootings.
01/13/2016, California and Oregon
A mother straw purchased guns for her mentally ill son. He used the guns to murder a stranger at a highway rest stop. A man set a woman on fire and shot her to death with guns his mother bought for him illegally through an online gun broker and pawnshop, the woman’s sister claims in court.
Jeffrey Boyce killed 57-year-old Kirsten Englund as she gazed at a lighthouse on the Pacific Ocean, then poured gasoline over her and lit her on fire and shot her again, her sister says.
Boyce then stole two cars at gunpoint before police arrested him at a Northern California shopping mall.
Boyce, whose prior criminal convictions prohibited him from buying guns, got his hands on an AK-47 and two semi-automatic pistols through a pawn shop and online gun broker who and sold the guns to his mother, Diane Boyce.
Diane Boyce bought an AK-47 online from J&G Sales in December 2011, according to the complaint, then picked it up at World Pawn Exchange in Coos Bay, Ore.
In the next two months, she also bought a Makarov 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Rock Island semi-automatic pistol from the same broker and pawn shop, the lawsuit states.
22-year-old Pennsylvania woman bought 2 handguns for her boyfriend who had felony record. She faces a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Federal investigators say a woman bought a gun for a convicted felon and lied on the ATF form about the true ownership of the firearm.
Woman arrested for buying guns for boyfriend, gang leader who used guns in series of violent crimes, including assault on McDonald’s employee, shooting at gas station, car theft, robberies and more.
Gun store tips off cops to meth dealer who sent girlfriend to buy guns
Felon used his grandmother to buy a gun, then turned it on himself and 8-year-old son.
07/07/2015, Georgia and Nebraska
Georgia woman was straw purchaser of gun that killed pregnant police officer
07/02/2015, West Virginia
Female high school math teacher bought gun for felon.
Woman buys gun her boyfriend used in triple homicide
05/05/2015, Florida and Massachusetts
Girlfriend of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez paid for a $15,000 shipment of guns from Florida to Massachusetts.
33-year-old former school cook sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for straw purchasing two handguns for a convicted felon facing charges of making terroristic threats.
Woman hired by Mexican drug lord caught heading to Mexican border with 20 AR15s, 200 rounds of .50 caliber ammo and bulletproof vest in car with her 9-year-old son
01/16/2015, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Women buy guns for New Jersey drug dealer in exchange for heroin
01/10/2015, New York and Pennsylvania
Convicted felon uses cocaine and cash to recruit women to buy guns used in drug-related crimes in Buffalo.
Woman straw purchased guns for Percocet and diapers
11/24/2014, Florida and New York
Female ringleader bought 70 guns at Florida gun shows, smuggled them into NYC on Chinatown buses New York
10/03/2014, California and Oregon
Woman bought 35 guns for crack dealer; several of the guns were found at Oakland crime scenes
09/26/2014, District Of Columbia and Virginia
Felon sentenced for using straw purchaser to illegally acquire firearms
09/18/2014, New York
Convicted felon used female neighbor to buy guns, then ambushed and killed two firefighters
Woman was indicted for buying 10 guns over a 5-day span and giving them to a convicted felon.
Woman bought handguns for boyfriend who had felony record; hid guns in her mother’s basement
08/01/2014, District Of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia
Young girl began transporting crime guns at age 12. By the time she was 21, she was supplying large numbers of crime guns to multiple felons. She was paid in drugs and cash. She did so many deals, she said she lost track. Washington, DC-based ATF veteran: “It’s hard to figure how [women] get manipulated into buying a gun for a person who is not a good person…. The way they see it, if a friend asks you to do something for them, why wouldn’t you do it?”
Woman straw bought five AR-15s and AK-47s over six-day period
08/20/2013, New York and South Carolina
Gunrunner’s girlfriend carried, assembled and sold SKS assault weapons out of zebra-striped suitcase in largest gun bust in NYC history
Abused girlfriend bought gun her boyfriend used to kill 24-year-old college student in dispute over parking space
Female Dean’s List college student arrested as straw purchaser: “I knew nothing about buying guns, but I was buying them in large quantities.”
Chicago man with criminal record wanted guns. So he turned to his friend’s sister, who worked as a security guard and needed cash. She was paid $800 to buy four guns for him at local gun stores. “Many straw purchasers see the opportunity as easy money and a victimless, paperwork crime.”
01/28/2013, Maryland, New York, and Virginia
New York City gunrunner recruited mostly women to buy guns for him in Virginia. The women included welfare mothers and college students. They were paid in drugs, cash and hotel rooms. Told she was being charged with lying on gun purchase forms, one 21-year-old girl said, “Is that all?” The guns were recovered at crime scenes in New York City, Baltimore and Syracuse.
Gun store salesman tips off authorities to woman straw purchaser who bought six guns for convicted felon
08/28/2012, Illinois and Mississippi
“Women make up nearly one-fourth of the people who bought guns recovered in crimes in Chicago.” Illinois gun dealer alerted ATF after boyfriend-girlfriend team tried to buy TEC-9. Female college student earned $100 to buy guns for felons. Felon’s wife bought the gun recovered outside President-elect Barack Obama’s Chicago home.
06/27/2012, California and Georgia
Georgia gun store employees alerted authorities of trafficker using pregnant girlfriend and her wheelchair-bound father to move 125 guns from Atlanta to California
A U.S. Border Patrol agent and his girlfriend are in custody on a 20-count indictment of conspiring to buy firearms and ammunition and smuggle them to criminal gangs in Mexico, according to court documents. The pair are accused of acting as intermediaries to purchase nine firearms, including AK-47 assault rifles, as well as about 100 high-capacity ammunition clips and tens of thousands of high-caliber bullets they knew were bound for Mexican drug cartels.
04/09/2012, Georgia and New Jersey
“Straw purchasers are almost always family members or girlfriends.”-Federal prosecutor. Woman bought five handguns for her brother, a convicted felon, at a pawnshop in Georgia and bought another gun outside in the parking lot. The guns were recovered at crime scenes in New Jersey.
5 Texas women straw purchasers part of trafficking ring that acquired 55 guns to send to Mexican drug cartels
Gun dealer notifies police of man with criminal record who recruited a woman to buy a handgun for him after his attempt to purchase guns had failed.
04/27/2011, New York
Female college-bound prep school student, valedictorian, distributed guns for boyfriend, member of violent street gang. He instructed her on how to shoot, saying “head shots only.”
04/07/2011, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Probationer recruited two ex-girlfriends as part of straw purchasing ring that amassed 51 guns.
04/07/2011, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Probationer recruited two ex-girlfriends as part of straw purchasing ring that amassed 51 guns
01/05/2011, Georgia and Massachusetts
Women straw purchasers bought eighteen handguns in two-month spree “Get these two right here.”– Trafficking ringleader directed straw purchaser.
10/25/2010, District Of Columbia and Virginia
Woman bought gun for teen with long rap sheet. He used it to steal a truck and kill a good Samaritan who tried to intervene.
09/18/2010, Illinois and Mississippi
Female college student bought guns for trafficking ring and hid them in her dorm room. One of the guns she bought was used to kill an off-duty police officer and Iraq War veteran.
South Minneapolis gun store owner shuts down straw purchases: “We hand him the federal form, and he will hand it to his girlfriend or wife. Can’t do that.”
She had a drug problem and empty wallet. So when her neighbor asked her to buy a gun, she agreed. She bought the guns used to kill a teenager, attempt to kill two police officers. Women represent a quarter of straw buyers arrested in Philadelphia. Those who traffic in illegal weapons often rely on girlfriends to buy them.
Police stakeout thwarts straw purchase by felon’s girlfriend. She didn’t know a handgun from a shotgun when questioned by police.
09/15/2009, Georgia and New Jersey
Felon paid his father’s girlfriend to buy 8 handguns
Woman described as quiet and super sweet “couldn’t resist the promise of easy money for precious little work” and funneled 77 guns to drug cartels. At least a dozen women in the past two years have surfaced in federal gun-trafficking cases. Women are paid as little as $100 per trip.
07/07/2009, Maine and Massachusetts
Mother of three young children bought guns for man with criminal history she met through online dating
12/14/2008, Georgia and New Jersey
Underage female friend of drug dealer recruited her best friend, an unemployed new mother, who bought four guns at Georgia gun store. She made $300 on the transaction. A few weeks later, she returned to the same store and bought 22 more guns. One of the guns was used to kill a working mother of twin 6-year-old girls caught in crossfire.
Convicted robber’s baby mamma bought 11 guns for him
Woman bought gun for drug dealer who used it in fatal shootout.
03/23/2008, New York and Pennsylvania
Ex-con recruited two mothers of young children to straw purchase guns in Pennsylvania. Another felon, a New York drug dealer, used his sister and girlfriend as straw buyers in Pennsylvania.
Three women bought 50 guns for boyfriends and other acquaintances. Those who traffic in illegal weapons often rely on girlfriends to buy them. “Some women will do anything for their man.”
Six women arrested as part of gun trafficking ring. Police recovered 51 guns. Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham: “We have seen the same revolting picture over and over again, which is that women have been providing guns for their drug suppliers, their boyfriends, their former boyfriends, the father of their children. They are incapable of lawfully purchasing guns anyplace, and so the women do it for them.”
“Many straw purchases are committed by the girlfriends of convicts.” Some suspects are girlfriends buying for ex-cons, officials said. Others do it for drugs or cash
03/01/2007, District Of Columbia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio
Wife of former-cop-turned-gunrunner straw purchased 168 guns.
05/01/2006, Massachusetts and South Carolina
Gang leader, high-volume gun trafficker used sisters and mother to buy 21 handguns.
02/10/2006, Illinois and Michigan
Former tax preparer and convicted domestic violence abuser used a woman to buy guns for him in two trips to the same pawnshop. “That, in many ways, is the reality of … getting a gun in Chicago,”—Illinois prosecutor. He used the guns to twice rob a local bank, shoot a police detective in the head and hold him hostage. Update: the decorated police officer succumbed to his injuries in 2008.
Seven charged in gun-buying, robbery spree Weapons, obtained illegally through “straw buyers,” were used to rob banks
Tip from gun store owner launched led to arrest of three women straw purchasers who supplied guns used in carjackings, shootouts with police, robberies of fast food restaurants, banks, and a hit on grand jury witness.
01/18/2006, Alabama and Massachusetts
Two women make multiple road trips to buy guns in Alabama and transport them to Massachusetts for resale on Boston streets. Police recovered five handguns in one trip alone.
09/09/2005, Illinois and Michigan
Former tax preparer and convicted domestic violence abuser used a woman to buy guns for him in two trips to the same pawnshop. He used them to rob a local bank and shoot a police officer in the head.
06/12/2005, New York and Ohio
Gunrunner used three girlfriends to buy 250 guns at Ohio gun shows. One girlfriend bought 40 guns in single transaction and returned the next month to buy 87 more. Gun was used in career-ending shooting of rising basketball star in case of mistaken identity.
06/12/2005, New York and Ohio
Gunrunner used 3 women to straw purchase 250 guns. One girlfriend bought 87 guns in single transaction. Gun was used in career-ending shooting of rising basketball star in case of mistaken identity.