HARRISBURG, PA — Michelle Henry, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, recently reported that collaborative law enforcement efforts between the Attorney General’s Office and Bucks County investigators have resulted in a serial straw purchaser being incarcerated for a minimum of 10 years.
Following Frederick Cornelius Brown Jr.’s conviction on 34 straw purchasing-related offenses during the trial, he was sentenced in Bucks County Court earlier this week to a term of 10-20 years in state prison.
The Gun Violence Task Force of the OAG joined the Bucks County authorities in a joint investigation, revealing that Brown engaged in the purchase of firearms across several states by falsifying records of his purchases. He then engaged in trafficking the guns, some of which were subsequently involved in other crimes.
“Every gun that is illegally purchased and trafficked is a potential threat to public safety, as far too often, straw purchases fuel much of the gun violence that plagues Pennsylvania communities,” Attorney General Henry said. “My office’s Gun Violence Task Force is committed to removing those guns from the streets. Through collaboration with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, we made Pennsylvania a safer place with this conviction and significant prison sentence.”
“Mr. Brown broke the firearms laws here in Bucks County. He found out at trial that we are committed to make good on our promise to crack down on lawless purchases of firearms like his, and others,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “As I have said before, we have made crime gun investigations and prosecutions our priority this term. More to come.”
Convicted of 34 counts of illegal firearms transfer and falsifying documents regarding handgun purchases, Brown bought 17 firearms. He didn’t report any as lost or stolen, nor did he lawfully transfer any to another person. At least three guns he bought appeared in criminal investigations involving others.
Many of the black market firearms purchases Brown made were popular Taurus G2C, 9mm pistols. The weapon is frequently subject to illegal trafficking due to its low cost and widely-available nature.
Brown committed “straw purchases,” whereby clean-background individuals buy guns for someone else to conceal true ownership. This is often done when the real owner is prohibited from owning a firearm, such as convicted felons, domestic violence offenders, juveniles or persons with mental illness.
The Pennsylvania State Police, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office teamed up with the Pennsauken and Camden County Police Departments to secure a conviction under the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Gun Violence Task Force’s jurisdiction. Bucks County Deputy District Attorney David Keightly led the trial.
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